UBS: China Telecom to Offer iPhone 4S in Spring 2012 at Earliest

In Apple's second largest market, China, there have been frantic negotiations with carriers to secure the iPhone 4S which will make its debut on the mainland soon. China Unicom already has a deal in place with Apple for the iPhone 4S which was introduced just last week in Hong Kong.

China Telecom, the nation's third largest carrier, may have to wait a few months longer before bringing Apple's most wanted smartphone to its subscribers, Bloomberg reports. China's official Xinhua news agency had suggested in September that the new iPhone might arrive on the carrier by the end of October.

Wang Jinjin, a UBS analyst in Hong Kong, wrote in a report citing sources from the supply chain, that the smartphone would arrive on China Telecom by February or March 2012 at the earliest.

The Global Times newspaper was also closer to the mark, seemingly, suggesting that China Telecom is preparing for a release early next year.

Jacky Yung, a China Telecom spokesman, declined to comment because of a confidentiality agreement the company has on the subject of its negotiations with Apple.

China Mobile, the largest mobile operator in the world with over 600 million subscribers, is said to have 10 million iPhone users signed up despite not having a deal with Apple yet for a handset on its TD-LTE network (in other words, they're only making calls and sending texts).