Chinese carrier China Telecom just started selling the iPhone 4S handsets, after quite a long wait from its customers. The anticipation was quite great, with 200k preorders already placed for the newest iPhone and the carrier officials saying that their expectations were surpassed. China Telecom is the second carrier in the country to start selling this product officially in China.
The rest of the market is controlled by China Unicom, apparently. Of the 200k, 10.000 preorders were placed in Beijing and 20.000 in Shanghai. Meanwhile, China Mobile, the biggest carrier in the country already has 15 million iPhone users, in spite of not even cooperating with Apple, at least not officially. The iPhones in their network are sold via the big grey market and they’re limited to 2G connectivity. Back to China Telecom, they sell the iPhone 4S 16 GB unit for free with a 2 year contract that will set the user back about $62 a month.
There’s also the option of a 3 year contract, with the monthly pay going down to $45. The iPhone 4S is available in China in its CDMA flavour and comes with some of the limitations that the Verizon users have also met. Among them there’s the lower max speed on 3G connections, compared to the one available on GSM. There’s also the problem of lack of support for both voice calls and data traffic at the same time. Also, know that these iPhones are sold with iOS 5.1 preinstalled.