Apple one step closer to launching iPhone 5 in China
Days after Apple's Q4 earnings, where Tim Cook revealed the iPhone would arrive in China by December, Chinese regulators have approved the latest Apple smartphone, pushing the company one step closer towards selling the handsets in the region.
Chinese state regulators have approved two models of the iPhone 5 for sale in the country, allowing the maker of shiny rectangles to push for a launch in the region in the coming weeks.
Chinese news site SinaTech first reported the news that the regulators had approved the iPhone 5 for sale in two differnet versions. The A1429 model will be compatible with China Unicom's 3G/GSM network, while the A1442 model will operate on China Telecom's CDMA network.
For Apple to sell the latest smartphone in the country, the company must pass the 3C (China Compulsory Certificate) certification. However, according to sister-site CNET, Apple has yet to acquire a network-access license that would allow the handsets to connect to the country's cellular networks.
However, the Chinese state regulators have yet to approve the iPhone 5 for China Mobile, the state-owned network with more than 600 million subscribers. As far as reports go, Apple has already inked deals with the two major networks, but has yet to make any formal agreement with the country's largest cellular network.
iPhones are incredibly popular in China, with tens of millions being sold in the past two years alone.
China currently represents around 15 percent of Apple's global revenues, according to Apple chief executive Tim Cook on the fourth quarter earnings call last week. He also confirmed that the Cupertino, CA.-based firm "project[s]" that the iPhone 5 would arrive in China during the December quarter.
A move into China could see a significant boost to Apple's revenues in the region, perhaps as much as doubling sales.