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iPhone 6 To Go On Sale In China, But How Well Will It Sell?

Apple on Tuesday announced the iPhone 6 will go on sale in China on Friday, October 17. The device will be available on all three of China's carriers.
Posted at 6:46 AM, Sep 30, 2014

It's official. The iPhone 6 will be available for purchase in China on Friday, Oct. 17. Customers can pre-order their phone on Oct. 10 — one week before they go on sale. 

As for pricing, the smaller 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will start at 5,288 Renminbi, or about $860; and the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus starts at 6,088 Renminbi, or about $990.

The devices will be available on all three of China's carriers: China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom. 

Apple had to receive regulatory approval for its latest round of phones before it could start selling them in China. Based on the company's announcement, it's likely the Chinese government gave the go-ahead. (Video via Apple)

A writer for VentureBeat reminds us this iPhone roll-out is quite different from last year's. "Last year, Apple made the iPhone 5s and 5c available in China on the same weekend as the U.S. ... this year, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) expressed concerns about security issues related to the new phones."

So the iPhones weren't immediately available in China — what's the big deal? Well, that delay in availability could affect iPhone sales. The New York Times published a telling report on China's gray-market iPhones Sunday.

Gray-market iPhones are purchased in countries where they are available and then smuggled into China. 

The Times reports gray-market sales are quickly declining, and some vendors have halved their prices. "No stalls openly displayed the new iPhones. ... One vendor said the market for the phones was far worse than in past years."

If consumers aren't buying now, what's to say they'll spring for the latest iPhone when it officially goes on sale in mid-October? Then again, with iPhone 6 sales topping 10 million in its first weekend on the market, what's to say they won't?

This video includes images from Apple.