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iPhone 5S Could Hit China Telecom, China Unicom On September 20 (AAPL, CHL, CHU)

iPhone 5S Could Hit China Telecom, China Unicom On September 20 AAPL, CHL, CHU

China Telecom (NYSE: CHA) and China Unicom (NYSE: CHU) could be the first Chinese carriers to offer the next-generation iPhone.

Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) long-awaited upgrade is rumored to be called the iPhone 5S. The company's low-end, low-cost smartphone -- the unconfirmed iPhone 5C -- is expected to be released on September 20 as well.

According to an AppleInsider translation of a report by Chinese website Sina Tech, China Mobile (NYSE: CHL) will have to wait an additional two months before it can begin selling the new iPhones.

This is because the TD-LTE 4G versions will have to go through "regulatory approval" before China Mobile can sell them to their 700 million subscribers. Consequently, this means that the world's largest carrier will not receive the devices before November.

Related: iPhone 5S Will Be Apple's "Most Successful Launch Ever"

If China Telecom and China Unicom are able to sell the iPhone on September 20, however, it would be the first time that Apple has launched a new iDevice simultaneously in China and the United States. The company has previously launched products in multiple nations, but they usually include established markets like Japan and England. Emerging markets are typically forced to wait.

China is different, however. Its massive population ensures that analysts will refer to it as an "emerging" market for many years to come, regardless of how many smartphones are sold globally. This also means that tech companies will continually fight over the hundreds of millions of new customers they could obtain before the market matures.

Apple is expected to unveil both the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C during its domestic media presentation on Tuesday, September 10. The company will hold a separate event in Beijing on September 11 (just a few hours after the American event). This sparked rumors that a China Mobile deal has finally been reached.

The Cupertino, California-based tech giant is also rumored to have made progress in its effort to strike a deal with Japan's largest wireless carrier, NTT DoCoMo (NYSE: DCM).

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ


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Posted-In: AppleInsider China Telecom china unicom iPhone 5C iPhone 5SNews Rumors Tech Best of Benzinga

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