The Wall Street Journal is reporting that China Telecom will be brining the iPhone 5 to their customers late this month or early next month, which could bolster Apple’s sales for the holiday quarter.
Further driving home the point that the Chinese market is worth quite a bit to Apple, the report notes that China was responsible for $5.7 billion, or 16% of Apple revenue last quarter.
Since the iPhone 5’s introduction, Apple has promised a rollout of the device to 100 countries by the end of the year. The company is seemingly standing by this promise even as they face production issues, and considering that some markets in which the device is already available, are seeing supply shortages.
There is another benefit to launching the iPhone 5 in China as soon as possible- it sucks the oxygen out of the gray market that plagues the region. For several years now, scalpers have gobbled up as much of a new iOS device’s supply as they can get ahold of, in as many markets as possible, and sends them back to China for a hefty markup. If there is a freely flowing legitimate supply of the iPhone 5, this issue will go away.