A new report from The Wall Street Journal suggests that Apple might have built a modified iPhone that is compatible with China Telecom’s network.

Later this week, Apple’s iPhone 4S is set to launch in China and China Unicom, the country’s only iPhone-provider, will offer the handset for free with select multi-year contracts.

However, an Apple-made handset (model number: A1387) that is compatible with China Telecom’s network has recently been approved by China’s Radio Management agency, “which certifies radio-signal-emitting devices for use in the country,” The Wall Street Journal explains.

This handset is indeed compatible with “CDMA-2000,” the wireless technology used by China Telecom.

Naturally, many expect Apple to have manufactured a handset that will eventually be available from China’s third-largest carrier. After all, a CDMA iPhone 4 launched for Verizon – it makes sense for the company to follow a similar trend, especially since the iPhone 4S isn’t compatible with the network, despite being sold as a “world phone.”

Apple’s China Telecom-compatible iPhone could be a modified iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 or even an earlier iPhone model. We’ll let you know if any more news becomes available, so check back with us.