A woman in Hong Kong displays her iPhone 5. (Photo/Xinhua)
Although China was left off the list for the second round of the iPhone 5's release, carriers China Unicom and China Telecom have started to take pre-orders for the device in some cities, suggesting Apple's new smartphone could arrive before the end of the month.
A senior executive at China Unicom said the carrier will definitely offer the iPhone 5 by the end of the year, perhaps one step ahead of China Telecom, which is also keen to be the first carrier to offer the new Apple smartphone.
From Oct. 1 to the end of the year, China Telecom and China Unicom customers in Shanghai can receive a free upgrade to the iPhone 5's dedicated nano-SIM card at their outlets in the city, while Shanghai customers of China Mobile can also get the upgrade at designated outlets.
Compared with the micro-SIM cards previously used in the iPhone, the nano-SIM card is even smaller and thinner, offering more space for the battery.
The iPhone 5 was first released on Sept. 21 in nine countries and regions, and in a further 22 countries a week later. Within 24 hours after the second-round launch, some international sellers had stopped accepting pre-orders, due to limited supplies.
The China Quality Certification Center has completed the 3C certification of two iPhone 5 models for sale in the country — a CDMA model and a WCDMA model — for retail via China Telecom and China Unicom respectively. Market watchers predict the iPhone 5 should be able to hit the Chinese market in October.