Apple on Tuesday confirmed what various reports suggested in preceding days, launching its biggest iPhones yet in the biggest smartphone market in the world. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will start selling in China on October 17, both in local Apple retail stores and from the country’s main mobile operators. Just like in other markets, buyers will be able to preorder their chosen iPhone 6 model a week in advanced (on October 10), and reserve the device for in-store pick-up beginning with October 14.

FROM EARLIER: The next big step for Apple’s iPhone 6

Apple’s iPhone 6 launch was a complete success for the company even it wasn’t able to launch the handsets in China during the first wave, as the devices had to clear regulatory hurdles in the region. Apple sold 10 million combined iPhone 6 units in its first launch weekend, a million more than pre previous record held by Apple’s iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c launch last year. However, China was included last year in the first wave of countries that received the iPhone, with iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c sales amounting to 2.75 million of the total 9 million sold during launch weekend.

It’s likely Apple will sell even more iPhone 6 units now that it’s able to launch the handset in China, especially considering that the world’s biggest mobile operator will be also included in the launch. At the same time, the iPhone 6 will face some stiff competition in the region from local smartphone manufacturers that have become more and more popular in recent years, offering buyers more budget-friendly alternatives than Apple and Samsung.

“We are thrilled to bring iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to our customers in China on all three carriers at launch,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said. “With support for TD-LTE and FDD-LTE, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus customers will have access to high-speed mobile networks from China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom for an incredible experience.”

Prices will start at 5,288 RMB ($860) for the iPhone 6 and at 6,088 RMB ($990) for the iPhone 6 Plus.

The full press release follows below.

iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus Available in China on Friday, October 17
Pre-orders Begin Friday, October 10

BEIJING—September 30, 2014—Apple® today announced that iPhone® 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the biggest advancements in iPhone history, will be available in China beginning Friday, October 17 from the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores, and an expansive network of retail stores through all three major carriers and Apple Authorized Resellers. With support for TD-LTE and FDD-LTE, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus provide customers access to 4G/LTE networks from China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom across mainland China. Customers can pre-order iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus from the Apple Online Store beginning Friday, October 10. Beginning Tuesday, October 14, customers can reserve the new iPhones for in-store pick-up starting Friday, October 17.

“We are thrilled to bring iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to our customers in China on all three carriers at launch,” said Apple’s CEO Tim Cook. “With support for TD-LTE and FDD-LTE, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus customers will have access to high-speed mobile networks from China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom for an incredible experience.”

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are the biggest advancements in iPhone history, featuring two new models with stunning 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch Retina® HD displays, and packed with innovative technologies in an all-new dramatically thin and seamless design that is still comfortable to hold and easy to use. Both models are better in every way and include: the Apple-designed A8 chip with second generation 64-bit desktop-class architecture for blazing fast performance and power efficiency; advanced iSight® and FaceTime® HD cameras; and ultrafast wireless technologies.

The new iPhones include iOS 8, the biggest release since the App Store℠, featuring a simpler, faster and more intuitive user experience with new Messages and Photos features, predictive typing for Apple’s QuickType™ keyboard and Family Sharing. iOS 8 also includes the new Health app, giving you a clear overview of your health and fitness data and iCloud Drive℠, so you can store files and access them from anywhere.

Pricing & Availability
iPhone 6 comes in gold, silver or space gray, and is available in China for a suggested retail price of 5,288 (RMB) for the 16GB model, 6,088 (RMB) for the 64GB model and, for the first time, a new 128GB model for 6,888 (RMB). iPhone 6 Plus comes in gold, silver or space gray, and is available in China for a suggested retail price of 6,088 (RMB) for the 16GB model, 6,888 (RMB) for the 64GB model and 7,788 (RMB) for the new 128GB model. Both models are available in China from the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), by reservation only from Apple’s retail stores, and through China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom and Apple Authorized Resellers beginning Friday, October 17. Customers can pre-order iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus from the Apple Online Store beginning Friday, October 10. Beginning Tuesday, October 14, customers can reserve the new iPhones for in-store pick-up starting Friday, October 17.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

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