China's third-largest mobile operator has slashed its contract prices for the Apple iPhone 5s by almost 10 percent, one week before its biggest rival China Mobile is to begin selling the smartphone on January 17.
reported Bloomberg. Subscribers will also receive a free accessories giftpack that includes an iPhone case and external battery pack, which the operator said was valued at 400 yuan (US$65.56).is now offering its iPhone 5s 16GB contract bundles at 4,888 (US$801.09) at its Beijing retail stores, 800 yuan (US$131.11) lower than its list price of 5,288 yuan (US$866.65),
The move comes just one week before the market leader, China Mobile, is scheduled to beginafter it finally in December. Currently the world's largest telco with over 760 million subscribers, the operator has begun accepting pre-orders for the iPhone which will be available in its retail outlets from January 17. However, it has not released pricing details for the iPhone including subsidized contract offers.
China Telecom, which has beensince March 2012, had attributed a 21 percent increase in quarterly .
"It is the general practice of our company to roll out marketing promotion programs at appropriate times to enhance the business growth," Jacky Yung, Hong Kong-based spokesperson for China Telecom, said in the Bloomberg report.
The country's second-largest operator,, has yet to unveil any promotions for its contract bundles for the iPhone, which it has been distribution since November 2009.