Apple could launch its $330 “iPhone mini” as early as this summer to boost the company’s smartphone sales in China, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty. It’s expected the low-cost device could provide Apple with an additional 20% of the smartphone market, adding to the 10% it has already claimed with the iPhone 5. And with smartphone prices now beginning to stabilize in China, now would be an ideal time for such a device.
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Apple’s 4G-equipped iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad have taken a step closer towards a launch in China today after receiving their network licenses from Chinese telecommunications certification center TENAA. Like the iPhone 5, the tablets are expected to be available on the China Unicom and China Telecom networks.
China Unicom, China’s second-largest mobile carrier, began accepting iPhone 5 pre-orders on Monday ahead of the handset’s December 14 launch. And during the first day alone, it saw more than 100,000 orders placed online. Apple devices have become hugely popular in China, and it seems the iPhone 5 will be no exception.
Apple has issued a press release announcing that the iPhone 5, the iPad mini, and the fourth-generation iPad with Retina display will be arriving in China next month. Both iPads will be available on December 7, while the iPhone 5 will be available on December 14.
The iPhone 5 is expected to make its debut in China next month, and that’s looking increasingly likely now that the device has received its third and final license from China’s Telecommunications Equipment and Certification Center (TENAA).
China Telecom has reportedly finalized its talks with Apple over the iPhone 5 ahead of the smartphone’s debut in China in December. The carrier told reporters that its support for the iPhone 5 is now a “foregone conclusion,” while sources claim it will get the device at the same time as, or possibly even before than, China Unicom.
In December, Apple will launch the iPhone 5 in December, the world’s largest mobile market. Before it can do that, however, the handset needs regulatory approval. Two devices have just been given the go-ahead by China’s State Radio Management, one of which is destined for China Unicom and China Mobile, which the other is headed to China Telecom.
Apple CEO Tim Cook was in Beijing today, meeting Chinese officials as the Cupertino company eyes up further growth in China. It’s his first trip to the country since he took over from Steve Jobs as CEO, and he got himself noticed with a visit Apple’s Beijing store where he stopped to pose for photographs with fans.
China Telecom has become the second Chinese carrier to offer the iPhone 4S today, ending the exclusivity enjoyed by China Unicom for the last 18 months. The company announced back in February that it would begin selling Apple’s popular smartphone from March 9, and it has taken over 200,000 pre-orders in just the last week.
China Telecom and Apple have officially confirmed that the carrier will get the iPhone 4S on March 9th. China Telecom’s 130 million subscribers will have access to Apple’s latest handset for $0 RMB with select carrier contracts. The device will be sold in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB flavors.