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China Telecom iPhone 5 pre-orders begin

Chinese TUAW readers, get ready -- China Telecom has begun taking pre-orders for the iPhone 5 in the world's largest market.

According to Global Times, China Telecom -- which just happens to be the smallest of the wireless carriers in China -- confirmed on Sunday that the iPhone 5 would be going on sale "sometime in December," although an exact date wasn't mentioned. A China Telecom customer service rep told a Global Times reporter, "We'll contact you immediately if the iPhone 5 hits our shelves."

That "if" sounds a bit fishy, but the China Telecom admission about pre-orders does jive with Apple CEO Tim Cook's October announcement that the iPhone 5 would arrive in China in December. There's no word from China Unicom, which was the first mainland carrier to sell the iPhone in 2009, on when they'll be selling the newest iPhone. The largest carrier, China Mobile, doesn't carry the iPhone yet, but is expected to sign a deal with Apple to begin carrying the iPhone 5 in 2013.

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