Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5 seems to have cleared the last obstacle in a sequence of Chinese regulatory checks, opening the way for the device to finally be sold in one of the main markets of the company.
Two iPhone models had received the essential network access licenses on Thursday from Telecommunications Equipment and Certification Centre of China. The devices had initially received support from a couple of Chinese regulatory officials in the month of September and October.
TENAA’s official website does not expose the name of the devices. However, the images seem to be of the iPhone 5. One of the standard devices has the model number A1429 and is built for a WCDMA 3G network. It is expected to be sold with the mobile carrier, China Unicom that has a mobile user base of 233 million.
The other version, the model number A1442 is built for a CDMA2000 3G network. It will probably come with China Telecom that has a mobile user base of 155 million.
Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, has initially said that he expects the iPhone 5 to go on sale in December.
The company has started selling its latest products in China a few months after their official releases in the US. This has proved to be a boon to China’s gray market in which illegal vendors will purchase the product abroad and then sell it at higher costs to Chinese clients, who are not willing to wait. iPhones sold at the gray market may cost $200 or more than the actual price.
Demand for Apple’s iPhone in China has been high, creating lines of hundreds of people standing in the queue outside the company stores in Beijing. iPhone releases in the nation have also led to a little drama. An Apple store in Beijing had suddenly cancelled its first day of sales for the iPhone 4S. This had led to a customer throwing eggs at the store. Apple responded back by temporarily stopping all iPhone 4S sales in physical stores in Shanghai and Beijing.