Apple's iPhone 5 Takes a Baby Step Toward a Chinese Launch

So far, Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) most important new product has yet to launch in its most important growth geography: the iPhone 5 in China. It's been a little over two months since the company launched the newest version, and it's been rather hard for consumers around the world to get their hands on the device.

At the end of October, the iPhone 5 scored the second of three necessary regulatory approvals to launch in the Middle Kingdom. China's Quality Certification Center gave the regulatory seal of approval to two different models, one likely destined for China Unicom's (NYSE: CHU  ) network while the other has China Telecom's (NYSE: CHA  ) name all over it. That left just one regulatory hurdle left to clear: obtaining a network access license from the Ministry of Industry and Information technology.

Ask and you shall receive. The The Wall Street Journalis reporting that the iPhone 5 has done just that and both of the aforementioned models are now cleared for takeoff. The news comes just in the nick of time as China Telecom chairman Wang Xiaochu had previously said that his company was planning on offering the iPhone 5 by late November or early December. China Unicom Chairman Chang Xiaobing was also hoping to offer the device this year, but stopped short of offering a specific time frame.

China Telecom was added as an official iPhone carrier in March, breaking China Unicom's exclusivity on the device. China Telecom is the third-largest carrier in the country. Investors continue to wait for the day when Apple and China Mobile (NYSE: CHL  ) hook up, but that probably won't happen until next year. That will be a monster carrier score for Apple, giving it exposure to the largest mobile subscriber base in the world, totaling 700 million users.

The regulatory approvals also coincide with CEO Tim Cook's projection that the iPhone 5 will launch in mainland China in December, which he mentioned on the last conference call. Looks like everything is proceeding right on schedule.

There is absolutely no doubt that Apple is at the center of technology's largest revolution ever, and that longtime shareholders have been handsomely rewarded with over 1,000% gains. However, there is a debate raging as to whether Apple remains a buy. The Motley Fool's senior technology analyst and managing bureau chief, Eric Bleeker, is prepared to fill you in on both reasons to buy and reasons to sell Apple, and what opportunities are left for the company (and more importantly, your portfolio) going forward. To get instant access to his latest thinking on Apple, simply click here now.


Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2012, at 12:13 AM, lojikfool wrote:

    Hi Evan, looks like you published 2 hours too early, looks like they just made a giant leap towards i5 in china just now...

Add your comment.

DocumentId: 2132941, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 4/18/2014 9:25:05 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement