Apple Inc. NASDAQ:AAPL has finally cleared the regulatory formalities in China to sell the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the country. The approval of the license for the use of the iPhone 6 on China’s wireless networks was displayed on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on Tuesday, reports Reuters.
Speculations over release date in China
The Cupertino, California-based company rolled out its new phones in the United States, United Kingdom, Puerto Rico, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, France, and Germany two weeks ago, leaving China out. Due to the long wait, iPhone zealots turned to the black market to acquire their favorite device. Bloomberg reports that retailers were buying iPhones from other countries and were reselling them in China at significantly higher prices.
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There has been a lot of speculation in the past few days over when Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will start selling the iPhone 6 in China. Reports from trusted websites such as 9to5 Mac and MacRumors suggest that the new phones will start selling in China on October 10th, citing a report from TechWeb that published a screen shot of an internal Apple memo.
The screen shot read that the new iPhone will be in store shelves on October 7 ,followed by sales three days later on October 10th.
Good holiday quarter expected for Apple
Analyst Keith Bachman of BMO said that China could be a major contributor to iPhone sales in December, likely adding up to over 10 million. According to Bachman, the chances are high that the company sells 58 million iPhones in the holiday quarter. Bachman has revised his revenue and EPS estimates upwards, especially for fiscal 2015.
Stifel analyst Aaron Rakers puts his December quarter estimates for iPhones sales at 65.3 million based on shipments. Most of the Apple websites have lead time of either 5-7 or 7-10 business days for the iPhone 6, whereas iPhone 6 Plus lead times are 3-4 business days.
Apple Inc.’s iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S were a huge hit in China last fall, and both analysts expect the same for the iPhone 6 this year.