Apple could sell as many as 40 million iPhones in China next year

Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty believes Apple will partner up with both China Telecom and China Mobile over the next year, and will eventually make the iPhone available on all three Chinese carriers, reports Apple Insider. The move could bring sales of the popular handset to as many as 40 million units in 2013 alone. The iPhone is currently only offered by China Unicom, the nation’s second largest carrier. Through this partnership, Huberty believes Apple can only reach 10% of the 150 million “high-end Chinese subscribers” in the country. China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile carrier, holds the majority of the country’s high-end subscribers with an estimated 120 million customers, with the final 10% of high-end subscribers carried by China Telecom, the third-largest carrier in China. Huberty also believes Apple’s sixth-generation iPhone is likely to be compatible with China Mobile’s upcoming 4G TD-LTE network, although she notes it is “still too early to know for sure.” Morgan Stanley expects the next-generation iPhone to launch in the third quarter this year — BGR reported last month that Apple will launch a redesigned iPhone this fall — and the firm believes China Mobile will release the new iPhone in late 2012 or early 2013.

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