While consumers in 30 countries will be able to get their hands on Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) latest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus by the end of this month, Chinese customers may have to wait until 2015 to buy the new flagship handsets from the Cupertino technology giant, according to a report Tuesday.
According to the report, the new phones have failed to get the necessary approval from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, or MIIT. And, if the report by 21st Century Business Herald, a Chinese news website, proves accurate, revenues for Apple, which is expected to sell as many as 60 million iPhones by the year end, will receive a big blow.
China, home to two of the largest carriers in the world -- China Mobile Ltd. (HKG:0941) and China Unicom Limited (HKG:0762) -- is a crucial market for Apple. The MIIT certification is mandatory for Apple to sell its new iPhones in the country and the company can again apply for approval at a later date. However, when that will be is still unknown, leaving the company's plans for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in China in limbo, iDownloadBlog reported.
“China is a key market for us and we will get here as soon as possible,” Carolyn Wu, an Apple spokeswoman, told Bloomberg, but did not provide a date for the release of the iPhone 6 in the country.
China Mobile’s Focus On ‘Naked’ Phones
Amid the uncertainty surrounding the launch of the iPhone 6 models, China Mobile announced Tuesday that it will focus on selling low-cost phones that do not require subsidies. According to the company, it will sell “naked,” unsubsidized phones compatible with fourth-generation networks for less than 600 yuan ($98) in the current quarter.
“The direction of our development is to completely focus on the mass market,” Bloomberg quoted Xi Guohua, China Mobile’s chairman, as saying. “We have 4G devices selling for 1,000 yuan. I believe, subsidy or no subsidy, discount or no discount, the common person will be able to appreciate this.”
China Mobile, which has 794 million subscribers, currently lists the iPhone 5s for 5,288 yuan ($860) with a contract. The carrier offers various subsidies depending on the user’s data plan.
Click here for a list of specifications of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.