Mainland China and 21 other countries will finally receive Apple's most advanced smartphone, the iPhone 4S, on Friday, Jan. 13. In a press release, Apple said sales of black and white iPhone 4S units will be soon available in Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Bolivia, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Cameroon, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Grenada, Guam, Guina Conakry, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Niger, Senegal, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, and Turks and Caicos.

Customer response to our products in China has been off the charts, said Apple CEO Tim Cook. With the launch in China next week, iPhone 4S will be available in over 90 countries making this our fastest iPhone rollout ever.

The iPhone 4S features upgraded internal processors and clocks a download speed twice as fast as its predecessor, the iPhone 4. The 4S also has a better and faster 8-megapixel camera that shoots video in full 1080p HD, features dual-core graphics, a new alternating antenna system for better sound quality and reception, and best of all, a state-of-the-art personal assistant called Siri, which helps the user create and send texts and e-mails, set up meetings and reminders, get directions, call friends, play music and answer highly complex and context-sensitive questions. In fact, Siri is the main reason why most people love the iPhone 4S.

Unfortunately, as it was in Brazil, the Chinese iPhone 4S units will not have a working version of Siri. She will be installed on the devices, but she just doesn't speak Mandarin yet. Apple says it is working hard at installing new languages and dialects in Siri, and the company says Siri will accommodate China's most popular language sometime around March.

When the iPhone 4S was revealed on Oct. 4, 2011, analysts predicted that customers would be disappointed with the product. It looked identical to the iPhone 4, it was not named iPhone 5, and it had very few new features besides Siri. Yet, Apple managed to surprise everyone, as the iPhone 4S has become the best selling iPhone of all-time. It broke its debut weekend sales previously held by the iPhone 4, and helped drive Apple's most successful Black Friday sales to-date.

Apple has stuck to its tiered pricing plan for the iPhone 4S, and pricing will remain the same in each of the 22 new countries. The 16 GB model will cost $199, the 32 GB model will cost $299 and the 64 GB model will cost $399; each of the new phones must be purchased with a new two-year contract from a participating wireless carrier. Similarly, Apple will slash the prices of its iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS to $99 and free, respectively.

China didn't receive its first Apple Store until 2008. In 2011, six Apple Stores in Shanghai and Beijing produced the highest average revenue of any of the company's 357 retao; stores.

The China progress has been amazing, Cook said during Apple's third quarter conference call with investors. If you look at our Greater China revenue, it represented just 2 percent of Apple in our fiscal year '09. And in the fiscal year we just ended, it accounted for 12 percent, and if you look at the quarter that we just ended, it accounted for 16 percent. So it's our fastest growing major region by far.

Apple raked in $4.5 billion in revenue from China in the fourth quarter, increasing the company's total revenue for the fiscal year to more than $14.3 billion.

To further put that in context, a year ago in fiscal year '10, we were just right above $3 billion. So it is growing at a feverish pace, Cook said.

Apple will release its fourth quarter sales on Jan. 24. The company is expected to report its best sales yet.

Below is Apple's press release:

iPhone 4S Arrives in China on January 13

CUPERTINO, California-January 4, 2012-Apple® today announced that iPhone® 4S, the most amazing iPhone yet, will be available in China and 21 additional countries on Friday, January 13. iPhone 4S is packed with incredible new features including Apple's dual-core A5 chip for blazing fast performance and stunning graphics; an all new camera with advanced optics; full 1080p HD resolution video recording; and SiriTM, an intelligent assistant that helps you get things done just by asking. iPhone 4S comes with iOS 5, the world's most advanced mobile operating system with over 200 new features.

Customer response to our products in China has been off the charts, said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. With the launch in China next week, iPhone 4S will be available in over 90 countries making this our fastest iPhone rollout ever.

Beginning Friday, January 13, iPhone 4S will be available in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Cameroon, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, China, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Grenada, Guam, Guinea Conakry, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Niger, Senegal, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos and Uganda.

iPhone 4S comes in either black or white for a suggested retail price of $199 (US) for the 16GB model, $299 (US) for the 32GB model and $399 (US) for the new 64GB model.* iPhone 4S is sold through the Apple Online Store, Apple's retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers. iPhone 4 is available for just $99 (US) and iPhone 3GS is available for free with a two year contract from participating carriers.