While Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) fans get in line in select countries around the world for the iPhone 6, those in South Korea will have to wait for the same opportunity to do so.
During Apple’s media event on Tuesday, where the company unveiled its new iPhone 6 and Apple Watch, it announced that it would be taking pre-orders for the new smartphone ahead of its Sept. 19 launch in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the U.K.
The home country to Samsung Electronics (KRX:005930) was nowhere to be found on that list, but that’s hardly a surprise. The company has never been included in the initial iPhone release countries since its introduction in 2007.
Also missing from the list is China, which boasts over 380 million smartphone users, a notable omission since the country was previously included in the iPhone 5s rollout last year. This is a particular concern for those keeping an eye on the Cupertino, California, tech powerhouse as it looks to stem its falling market share in China amid increased domestic competition from Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi.
While Apple hasn't said why China was excluded this year from the initial iPhone 6 launch, reports suggest that pending government approval may be to blame.
Apple iOS devices account for 13.2 percent of the Chinese smartphone market, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, down 5.6 percent from last year. Apple reportedly held 14 percent of the mobile market in South Korea last year, with Samsung taking the lion's share with 60 percent, according to Flurry.
It’s unknown when the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will be available for purchase in South Korea and China. But if Apple follows a similar timeline to its previous launches, it’s possible for the iPhone 6 to hit store shelves in South Korea and China along with a number of other countries sometime in October or November.