Apple will reportedly hold a separate iPhone event for the Chinese market on Sept. 11, to announce the new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. SinaTech

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has reportedly announced a separate media event for the unveiling of the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C in China on Sept. 11, ten hours after the expected announcement of the new handsets in the United States.

According to SinaTech, a Chinese technology news website, Apple, on Wednesday, sent out invites to various Chinese media outlets for a separate media event, which is scheduled to take place in Beijing at 10 a.m. local time on Sept. 11.

Apple issued an identical invitation to the U.S. media on Tuesday, inviting them to attend a special media event on Sept. 10 at its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., where the company is expected to unveil the iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C and the revamped iOS 7 mobile operating system.

Apple’s move to organize a separate iPhone event for the Chinese market is seen as a momentous departure from its typical product releases. The move also indicates that the company now considers China to be an important market for its iPhone line-up, especially for the rumored iPhone 5C, the so-called low-cost iPhone version, which is said to be aimed at emerging markets such as China and India.

According to AppleInsider, the iPhone 5C could turn out to be “a major boon” for the Cupertino tech giant in China, given the fact that cheaper handsets have started to gain momentum in the country, which surpassed the U.S. earlier this year as the world’s biggest market for smart devices.

It is worth mentioning here that Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, reportedly visited China in July to discuss the launch of the iPhone 5C with partner carrier China Telecom. Cook reportedly visited China in January as well to discuss “matters of cooperation” with China Mobile, the world’s largest cellular service provider.

As for the release date of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C in China, recent reports suggested that Apple could launch the devices on Nov. 28, two months after the expected unveiling next week.

While some reports note that a launch in China could be delayed as the new Apple handsets are yet to complete the verification process required by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, if the current rumor of a Sept. 11 iPhone event in China is accurate, it is quite unlikely that Apple would hold back the actual release of the new devices for another two months.