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China Telecom iPhone Sales Start; Subsidy May Damp Profit

China Telecom Corp., the nation’s third-largest mobile phone company, starts sales of Apple Inc.’s iPhone today, drawing subscribers with subsidies the company has said may crimp profit.

The iPhone’s introduction will probably boost the carrier’s subsidy costs by 19 percent to 24.1 billion yuan ($3.8 billion), said Alen Lin, an analyst at BNP Paribas Securities Asia in Hong Kong. He cut his rating on China Telecom this week to “hold” from “buy,” citing sales promotion costs for high-end devices.