Many of us already have a shiny new iPhone 5 but the odd thing is that the country, China, that manufactures the Apple mobile phone and iPad will not get their own iPhone 5 release date until December 14. Chinese mobile carriers throughout the nation confirmed that the iPhone 5 will hit the market on that date, with pre-orders being accepted a week earlier. In other markets Apple has already sold 26.9 million iPhone units and 14 million iPad units in Quarter 4, 2012.
According to The Christian Post, Chinese and Indian customers are expected to receive a low cost version of the iPhone sometime in the future, according to a report from Apple analyst Gene Munster. He stated that this device should launch in 2014 and cost around 1,245 Chinese Yaun, which translates to roughly $200 US dollars. A China Telecom customer service rep told a Global Times reporter, “We’ll contact you immediately if the iPhone 5 hits our shelves.”
That “if” might make you start to wonder, but the China Telecom statement about pre-orders does match up with Apple CEO Tim Cook’s October announcement that the iPhone 5 would arrive in China come December. China Unicom was the first mainland carrier to sell the iPhone in 2009, but so far the word is mum on when they’ll be selling the newest iPhone 5. The largest Chinese wireless carrier, China Mobile, doesn’t carry any model of the iPhone yet, but they are expected to sign a contract with Apple to begin carrying the iPhone 5 in 2013.
According to Investors.com, China Mobile needs Qualcomm to develop chips that support its wireless network, which uses home-grown TD-SCDMA technology.
“(Qualcomm’s) roadmap suggests no iPhone 5 at China Mobile in H1 2013,” Misek wrote. “We had hoped China Mobile would represent potential upside in 2013, but due to the uncertain timing, we did not include any units in our iPhone estimates…We do not believe the lack of the iPhone 5 in China is due to any business or technical issue, but rather is a political decision.”
I found it interesting that it’s taken so long for China to get the iPhone 5. But despite delays, and Foxconn factory strikes, the Chinese should be able to enjoy the iPhone 5 soon as well.