iPhone 5 Coming to China in Late November or Early December

iphone 5 chinaThe Wall Street Journal reports that China Telecom is preparing to begin offering the iPhone 5 in late November or early December, adding to the potential for a blockbuster holiday quarter for Apple.

Government officials haven't offered guidance on when the iPhone 5 might win final approval. But China Telecom Chairman Wang Xiaochu said Friday in a brief interview on the sidelines of the Communist Party's 18th Party Congress in Beijing that the phone should be by early December if not sooner.

China Unicom Chairman Chang Xiaobing was less certain. "We hope to offer it this year, but what I say doesn't matter," he said on the sidelines of the congress, adding that his company was waiting for the government to grant the remaining licenses for the phone to be released in China.

The report notes that China was responsible for $5.7 billion in revenue for Apple last quarter, 16% of the company's total.

Apple has committed to a rapid rollout of the iPhone 5 to at least 100 countries by the end of the year, despite continuing production issues that have resulted in shortages where the device has already launched. China is typically well behind the lead pack of countries when it comes to new Apple product launches, but the compressed launch schedule for the iPhone 5 means that this gap may only be roughly two months from the first round of launches in the U.S. and other countries.

The introduction of the iPhone 5 in China is also likely to reduce the number of units being siphoned off from other countries by gray market dealers purchasing the devices elsewhere for resale in China. Despite Apple's efforts to limit their ability to soak up supplies, scalpers are still working to secure as many iPhones as possible from retail stores in Hong Kong, the U.S., and other countries to send back to China.

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Top Rated Comments

ALCRON Avatar
152 months ago
The iPhone is already in China lol... :p
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Old Muley Avatar
152 months ago
Pardon my ingorance, but...

How much does the average Chinese worker/citizen make? Are the phones being sold in China subsidized somehow? I mean, here in the US, I am of middle income and so far my family has been unable to purchase iPhones mainly because of the annual costs associated with the cellular plans. If it is somewhat out of reach for me, how can a Chinese citizen afford it? (Of course I wonder the same thing about all the unemployed 20-somethings I encounter on a daily basis...)
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nungster Avatar
152 months ago
how about just produce enough in the USA first before releasing to more countries.

enough "FOR" the USA. They are made in China already.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Scott6666 Avatar
152 months ago
Time to buy apple stock? Mini-screen-gate will pale in comparison to this.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacManTexas56 Avatar
152 months ago
how about just produce enough in the USA first before releasing to more countries.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macs4nw Avatar
152 months ago
How much does the average Chinese worker/citizen make? Are the phones being sold in China subsidized somehow? I mean, here in the US, I am of middle income and so far my family has been unable to purchase iPhones mainly because of the annual costs associated with the cellular plans. If it is somewhat out of reach for me, how can a Chinese citizen afford it? (Of course I wonder the same thing about all the unemployed 20-somethings I encounter on a daily basis...)

Something I also often wonder about, but keep in mind that people all over the world, not just in China, will sacrifice in other areas, to purchase products that appeal to them or give them instant status, and APPLE products are no exception to that rule.

Just for the record, I can think of exactly one successful consumer product of any sort ever created in a communist country - the game Tetris. Apart from that, what has a communist country ever made that anyone in the west actually wanted to buy? Remember the Yugo? There are, what, a billion and a half Chinese citizens - they outnumber us 6 to 1. Shouldn't there have been 6 Chinese equivalents to Steve Jobs by now? Or is there something inherent about socialism that quashes innovation by denying innovators the fruits of their labor? I personally am not at all surprised either that the Chinese excel at turning their people into robots to build iPhones or that the Chinese have never made a product that people have truly wanted the same way the people of the world cannot wait for the next iOS device. Let me just reiterate - this is not a racist statement. All you need to do is compare the relative prosperity of Taiwan to the mainland - there's a clear difference.

But, they are catching up, make no mistake about that. With 1.37 Billion people, they have a huge talent pool, and even though they may have originally copied western tech, they are now beginning to develop their own technology, and innovation will no doubt be next. If you have any doubts about that, just look at companies like HUAWEI, currently the world's largest provider of telecommunications equipment, dwarfing the likes of ERICSSON and CISCO. Their worlwide 2011 investment in R&D was US$3.74 Billion.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)