China Telecom Corp Ltd (Beijing, China), the smallest of the country's three telecommunications operators, said on Tuesday that its mobile subscribers increased to 113.53 million in August, including 25.61 million 3G subscribers.
China Telecom said on its website that 3G subscribers rose by 2.05 million in August, while total users increased by 2.59 million.
The operator has reportedly been in talks with Apple Inc (Cupertino, Calif., U.S.A.) about potentially selling the next version of the iPhone which is reported to come out in early October. If China Telecom decides to sell the iPhone, it could establish even more 3G users in the competitive Chinese market.
According to a recent report by Southern Metropolis Daily, China Telecom has allegedly set aside $235 million to market the iPhone if a deal with Apple goes through.
China Telecom is the largest fixed-line operator in China, and has only recently entered the mobile market.
(Reporting by Christina Lo; Editing by Ken Wills)