A leaked screenshot of an iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c pre-registration page reportedly put up by China Mobile suggests that the largest Chinese mobile operator is getting ready to launch Apple’s 2013 iPhone models on December 18th, alongside its 4G TD-LTE network. The leaked page has been forwarded by readers to Chinese publication C Tech, an accurate source of Apple-related rumors in the past. Despite the apparently imminent iPhone launch, China Mobile is yet to officially announce iPhone plans even though official reports have recently confirmed that the carrier will launch its 4G service in the region on December 18th. Previous leaks have also claimed that a China Mobile iPhone launch is near.
With over 740 million subscribers, China Mobile is one of the most interesting markets for mobile devices makers, especially for Apple, which is looking to increase its mobile presence in Asia. Despite not having an official presence in China Mobile stores yet, the iPhone is a highly coveted mobile device. According to a report from mid-September, there are already 42 million iPhone owners on China Mobile’s network.
Historically, China has been a flourishing grey market for illegal iPhone sales, sold at premium prices in the region, but the launch of new iOS handsets with China Mobile should significantly drive down costs for interested iPhone buyers. Recent reports from India have shown that Apple’s new iPhones have been selling rather well in the country, particularly after Apple started its local trade-in program. Japan is another Asian market where Apple is seeing increased iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c sales.
The alleged iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c pre-registration page follows below.