China Telecom, the country’s third-largest mobile telco, is finally ready to sell the iPhone 4S on March 9th, with online reservations beginning March 2nd. The carrier has also revealed its contract plans. Chinese consumers who sign a three-year contract can get a free iPhone 4S 16GB model or a 32GB model if they pay up for a minimum of 289 yuan (US$46) per month of 3G data, SMS, and calls.
China Telecom has officially announced that it will begin selling the iPhone 4S next month, and this will break rival China Unicom’s exclusive grip on the iPhone.
“We are very pleased to provide our customers with the outstanding new iPhone 4S. We believe that our customers will be pleasantly surprised by the iPhone 4S on China Telecom’s high-quality 3G network,” said China Telecom deputy general manager Yang Xiaowei.
And Apple PR commented on the launch by providing The Loop with a statement.
“iPhone 4S has been an incredible hit with customers around the world,” Apple spokesperson Natalie Harrison, told The Loop. “We’re thrilled to be launching iPhone 4S with China Telecom and can’t wait to get it into the hands of even more customers in China.”
Interestingly, China Telecom is offering quite the deal on the new iPhone 4S: A free 4S bundled with a multiyear service contract. The carrier offers the 64GB version of the device with a 389-yuan-per-month plan ($62 U.S.) on a three-year agreement; both the 16GB and 32GB version of the phone are available with a two-year service contract costing 289 yuan (about $46) per month.
Comparing with China Unicom’s contract system, China Telecom offers more data and voice minutes, but less text messages and higher price. Let’s say you opt for the minimum amount of 3G data, SMS, and calls on each of the carriers:
If you factor in the cost of the free iPhone 4S, over two years you’d pay 6,936 yuan (US$1101) on China Telecom, versus 6,864 yuan (US$1090) on China Unicom. If you went with China Telecom, you’d pay a little bit more, but you would get more data and voice minutes.
Source: China Telecom
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