Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will start selling in China on October 17. Pre-orders for new iPhones in the world’s largest smartphone market will begin a week earlier on October 10. The Cupertino-based tech giant announced the China launch date after the iPhone 6 and its bigger sibling passed the regulatory scrutiny.
China grants network access license to iPhone 6
China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) scrutinized security features of the device amid rising privacy concerns in the country. Apple and other U.S. tech companies have witnessed intense regulatory scrutiny in China after whistle-blower Edward Snowden revealed the U.S. National Security Agency’s spying and surveillance programs.
Earlier this year, some Chinese security experts claimed that the iPhones were a threat to China’s national security. They claimed that Apple’s device has a feature that tracks the places a user visits most frequently. But the iPhone maker has rejected any such claims. During MIIT’s scrutiny of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the company once again reiterated that it did not work with the NSA or any other government agency to create a backdoor.
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus won the regulatory testing, and were granted network access licenses. Apple announced Tuesday that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus would be available on all three major Chinese carriers, China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom. Huge demand for the iPhone 6 and a delayed launch in China have given rise to a booming grey market where devices are sold at sky-high prices.
How much will iPhone 6 cost in China?
That means the iPhone 6 will arrive in China roughly a month after its launch in the U.S. and other countries. Chinese consumers had to wait due to regulatory delay. The base model of iPhone 6 with 16GB storage will cost 5,288 ($860) in China. The 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus with 16GB storage has been priced at $6,088 yuan ($990). The costliest iPhone 6 Plus with 128GB storage capacity will set a Chinese customer back by 7,788 yuan ($1,266).
The iPhone sales in China soared 50% during April-June quarter despite signs that customers were waiting for the next-gen iPhone 6.
Apple shares rose 0.29% to $100.40 in pre-market trading Tuesday.