iPhone 6 could launch in China on Oct. 10 — report

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Alleged internal memo to Apple employees in China suggests prototype phones will hit shelves on October 7, leading to a launch a few days later.

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The iPhone 6 (left) and the 6 PlusCNET

Apple’s new iPhone 6 could finally land in China at the end of next week.

Picked up by Chinese website Techweb, an alleged internal Apple memo to retail store employees alludes to “prototype” iPhone 6 units going on store shelves starting Tuesday, October 7, according to MacRumors. That memo also indicates employee training and product readiness slated for the same time.

All of that leads to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus going on sale on October 10, as detailed in a store preparation timeline described in an employee training course, AppleInsider said.

Sales of the iPhone 6 in China have been stalleddue to delays in regulatory approval. Last Thursday, Apple received approval for the iPhone 6 to tap into the country’s domestic frequencies, according to the official government Xinhua news agency.

Still, one obstacle remains. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) must approve the new iPhones for network access before retailers can start offering them. But MIIT chief Miao Wei reportedly told Chinese Internet portal Tencent last Tuesday that the new iPhone is “in the final stages of review for approval, with results due shortly.”

China has proven a lucrative market for the iPhone. Apple sold a record number of iPhone 5S units in China during the fourth quarter of 2013, and the country accounted for 16 percent of Apple’s $37.4 billion in sales last quarter, according to Bloomberg.

But at least one carrier will reportedly shake up the overall price that Chinese iPhone buyers must pay. China Mobile, the country’s largest carrier, is moving to get rid of $2 billion in subsidies, according to Bloomberg. Though the overall consumer price of Apple’s iPhones will increase under China Mobile’s new strategy, buyers will actually pay less up front for the device and a bit more over the life of the two-year contract.

via cnet.com

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