China Telecom Negotiating iPhone Deal

China Telecom, China’s number three cell service provider, is apparently in negotiations with Apple to become the second carrier to offer the iPhone in the country. A deal with Apple would end China Unicom’s exclusive deal, and require Apple to build a new iPhone model that supports the CDMA cell standard in addition to the current GSM-based models.

China Unicom’s exclusive iPhone deal is said to expire in early 2011, which would open the doors for a second carrier in the country soon, according to Reuters.

The iPhone 4 is already proving popular in the country. Apple’s newest combination iPod and smartphone launched in China at the end of September to long lines, more than 200,000 pre-orders, and a quick sellout.

Apple’s iPhone currently only works on cell networks based on GSM technology, such as AT&T. The report that China Telecom is in talks with Apple will no doubt add fuel to the rumors that an CDMA-based iPhone model is in development.

Apple and China Telecom have not commented on the rumor that they are negotiating an iPhone deal.