Consumers in China will be able to start buying the as yet unreleased iPhone 5 starting in October, according to Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White. The new iPhone model will apparently be available on China Telecom’s cell network, and the carrier will offer a “simplified” iPhone 4 model, too.
Mr. White cites a report from Sohu.com, according to AllThingsD, that claims Apple and China Telecom have a preliminary agreement to start selling the new iPhone model by the end of October.
China Telecom may have the iPhone 5 come October
The simplified iPhone 4 model that the report claims will sell along side the iPhone 5 may be a device just for the Chinese market. “Essentially, this potential ‘simplified iPhone 4’ would be a more economical version of iPhone to target a broader customer base in developing countries such as China, allowing for an expanded market opportunity,” Mr. White said.
So far, Apple hasn’t said when it will update the iPhone, or when it will ship. Rumors have claimed that a September launch was in the works, although a more recent rumor now claims we won’t see new iPhones until October.
Regardless of when Apple releases the next iPhone model, it will likely boost the company’s bottom line even more, especially with China in the game.
“We estimate the high-end portion of China Telecom’s subscriber base is approximately 13 to 15 million, which represents a current revenue opportunity for the iPhone of $8- to $9 billion,” Mr. White said, and if there really is a simplified iPhone 4 on the way, ” the opportunity with China Telecom could be much larger.”