China Telecom competes with China Unicom and China Mobile , which has also been aggressively negotiating with Apple to sell the iPhone in China.
China Mobile, the country's largest carrier, with more than 600 million subscribers, may not have matching technology in place commercially until late 2012 or 2013.
With the number of mobile subscribers set to top 1 billion in China this year, there is cut-throat competition for sales.
Chinese firms are gradually shifting up towards the higher end of the market, unveiling more feature-packed smartphones.
The total number of mobile subscribers in China increased 1.2 percent to 987.58 million in January, data from the country's three telecom operators showed.
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