Chinese news sites are reporting that China Telecom has overcome technical challenges with the CDMA iPhone 4 and is prepared to launch the handset as early as June. Details were sparse, but engineers have reportedly developed a workaround for the lack of a SIM slot in the CDMA iPhone 4.
Available from Verizon Wireless, the CDMA iPhone does not support a SIM card because the US wireless carrier does not use the cellular technology in its handsets. China Telecom requires a SIM card, which poses a problem with the CDMA iPhone 4. As proof of their achievement, China Telecom employees in the Guangdong branch have posted pictures of the CDMA iPhone 4 with full 3G signal on China Telecom's network.
Previous posting from this Guangdong group boast that the iPhone 4 has made its first official phone call on China's #3 wireless carrier. The Xinhua News Agency, the official press agency of the government of the People's Republic of China, reiterates this report and suggests the CDMA iPhone will be available in June. Much of this information is obtained from unofficial sources, and China Telecom has not commented on these rumors, though the carrier has indicated in the past it is interested in carrying the CDMA iPhone 4.
Apple is interested in the Chinese market and is expecting to open up to 25 new stores in China over the next several years. Apple is reportedly looking to open a new store on Shanghai's very popular and very busy Nanjing Road. This retail outlet will become China's fifth Apple store and will be the largest one in China thus far.