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iPhone 5 Receives Final Regulatory Certification in China

The Wall Street Journal reports that the iPhone 5 has received its final certification from Chinese regulators, opening the door to a launch on Apple’s carrier partners China Unicom and China Telecom.

Vendors in China often start selling new handsets within weeks of approval by China’s Telecommunication Equipment Certification Center. [...]

The regulator said in two posts on its website that it had approved licenses for an iPhone supported by China Telecom and one supported by China Unicom.

China Telecom chairman Wang Xiaochu had previously stated that the iPhone 5 would be launching on the carrier by early December, and the carrier has reportedly started taking pre-orders in recent days.

Apple has been placing a strong focus on the Chinese market, which now accounts for15% of the company’s revenue and and saw revenues rise 78% to $23.8 billion in fiscal 2012.

Still, Apple’s product launches in China have typically lagged behind those in the company’s other major markets, leading to a booming gray market for devices brought in from Hong Kong and elsewhere while also leaving the company more vulnerable to competitors. But with Apple’s goal of bringing the iPhone 5 to at least 100 countries before the end of 2012, the company is clearly working hard on compressing its worldwide rollout timetables.