China Telecom is partly behind Apple's development of cdma2000 iPhones, and will likely rip exclusivity away from rival Unicom by offering iPhones from next year, according to reports.
But the no. 1 US carrier is not the only operator seeking the CDMA iPhone. China Telecom, China’s sole CDMA operator, has been in intensive talks with Apple and chipset supplier Qualcomm, SCMP.com said citing a Deutsche Bank research note.
The development would mark the end of Apple's exclusive partnerships with AT&T in the US and China Unicom in China.
Verizon this week confirmed it planned to offer the iPhone, but did not give any details of timing. China Telecom has been tight-lipped on any plans for an iPhone launch.
Apple has largely abandoned the practice of forming exclusive handset partnerships for the iPhone, but its arrangement with AT&T has remained since the launch of the first iPhone in 2007.
Last month's launch of the iPhone 4 in China was a big success for China Unicom, which received 200,000 pre-orders in a single week.