China Telecom announced it will start selling iPhone 4S on March 9. [File photo]
China Telecom, the country's third-largest wireless carrier, said Tuesday that it would start selling the iPhone 4S on March 9, ending China Unicom's three-year run as the only carrier allowed to sell the device in China.
The company will start taking pre-orders on March 2, both from its official website and outlets of Suning Appliance Co., according to a statement from the company.
China Telecom said that it would spend heavily on marketing the smartphone, which is likely to weigh on profits in the short term but "enhance its long-term sustainable growth and value creation."
The iPhone 4S is currently available in China through resellers, Apple's online store and China Unicom -- the country's second-biggest wireless carrier, which started offering Apple Inc.'s iPhones in China in 2009.
Shares in China Telecom, also the nation's top fixed-line operator, rose by 2.71 percent Monday, while its rival China Unicom traded flat.