It’s time once again for breakfast at Taikoo Li: the Apple faithful will be lining up in front of the Sanlitun Apple Store and its three other retail outlets on October 17, as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have been approved officially for sale in China and will go on sale then.
The latest version of the groundbreaking smartphone arrives in Beijing 38 days after it went on sale in the US, Hong Kong, and other major markets. The China launch was delayed as the phone waited for regulatory approval from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and not, as some sources had suggested, anger over mobile service providers in China giving the game away early by offering iPhone pre-orders with official photos of both models prior to its launch on September 9.
The announcement of a release date will put a damper on smuggling of iPhones from the US and Hong Kong. Unlocked iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models have sold for as much as RMB 20,000. China Customs agents have been confiscating phones, including more than 800 in Shanghai. The basis for these confiscations is that travelers failed to declare goods of value purchased overseas, not because the phones were not officially available in China.
The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have racked up record sales, with 10 million sold in their first weekend of availability. Technology market research firm Gartner predicts the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will sell 10 million units per quarter in China. That’s a lot of phones. All three of China’s mobile carriers — China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom — will offer the new iPhone to their customers, as will Apple Stores throughout the country.
This post first appeared on thebeijinger.com on October 1, 2014.
Photo: The Verge via the Beijinger