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Today in Apple history: iPhone comes to the world’s biggest carrier

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china-defends-its-new-anti-encryption-law-image-cultofandroidcomwp-contentuploads201512Screen-Shot-2015-12-23-at-164347-png
China is a massive market for Apple.
Photo: Weibo/Tim Cook

December 22: Today in Apple history: iPhone comes to China Mobile, the world's biggest carrier December 22, 2013: After months of false starts, Apple finally secures a deal with China Mobile to bring the iPhone to the world’s largest telecom company.

With 760 million potential iPhone customers in the offing, the deal shapes up as Apple’s most important yet for growing its brand in China. In fact, Apple CEO Tim Cook says the country soon will become the company’s biggest market.

“China is an extremely important market for Apple and our partnership with China Mobile presents us the opportunity to bring iPhone to the customers of the world’s largest network,” Cook said in a statement when the news broke. “iPhone customers in China are an enthusiastic and rapidly growing group, and we can’t think of a better way to welcome in the Chinese New Year than getting an iPhone into the hands of every China Mobile customer who wants one.”

Apple warns of iPhone 14 Pro’s limited availability ahead of holiday season

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iPhone 14 Pro held in hand
Your iPhone 14 Pro order might not arrive until after Thanksgiving.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Planning on getting the iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max this holiday season? Getting your hands on one might be more difficult than you anticipate.

The latest COVID-19 curbs in China’s Zhengzhou have hampered the production of the latest Pro iPhones. Due to this, Apple now expects customers to wait longer to get their new iPhones.

Bad news for Xmas: Apple’s largest factory forced into ‘total lockdown’

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Foxconn building
Foxconn is Apple's biggest contract manufacturer.
Photo: Puddingworld, CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikimedia Commons

Days after reports of Foxconn employees hopping fences and fleeing from their jobs, a report late Wednesday from Taiwan News says Apple’s biggest iPhone factory is now on “total lockdown.” These new restrictions may have a big impact on Apple’s sales during the crucial holiday period.

Foxconn, whom Apple contracts to manufacture the lion’s share of iPhones, Macs and other Apple products, has had employees stay in on-site dormitories in a “closed-loop system” to prevent COVID outbreaks. Employees have been complaining about the “increasingly unsafe and inhumane working conditions” of the dorms.

Today in Apple history: iPhone goes on sale in China for first time

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iPhone 3GS
The iPhone 3GS arrives in China, without Wi-Fi.
Photo: Apple

October 30: Today in Apple history: iPhone goes on sale in China for first time October 30, 2009: Two years after launching in the United States, the iPhone finally goes on sale in China, giving Apple a chance to reach the world’s largest market.

A number of regulatory hurdles previously blocked Apple’s access to China, including restrictions on Wi-Fi functionality. With those problems solved, Apple offers the iPhone 3GS to the country’s 1.3 billion people, most of whom do not yet own smartphones.

Apple drops plan to use RAM from controversial Chinese company

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Apple drops plan to use RAM from controversial Chinese company
No RAM chips from YMTC will be used in iPhone 14.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple has reportedly given up its plan to use RAM chips made by Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. in the iPhone 14 series. It apparently ran into too much resistance from U.S. politicians, including suggestions the chips would somehow be used to surveil Americans.

To be clear, the chips would not have been used in iPhones sold outside of China.

No, Apple isn’t building Chinese spy chips into iPhone 14

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Republicans warn Apple not to use Chinese memory chips in iPhone 14
iPhone 14 will allegedly have RAM chips made by a controversial company.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple will reportedly use RAM chips made by Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. in the iPhone 14 series. This set off a firestorm of complaints from U.S. politicians, including suggestions the chips will somehow be used to surveil Americans.

YMTC is partially owned by the Chinese government and has ties to the Chinese military. There have been calls for it to be added to the U.S. Entity List of companies that face import restrictions.

Heatwave in China may hurt iPad supply

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Future iPhones might need a Vapor Chamber cooling system
It's hot and dry enough in China to affect iPad production.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

It’s hot in China. Hot enough that the government is ordering industries in parts of the country to temporarily halt electrical consumption so there’s enough left for air conditioning. An Apple analyst warns that iPad assembly could be affected.

Apple is expected to launch a redesigned budget iPad and an updated iPad Pro this autumn, and production problems could limit their availability.

Apple will offer hefty discounts on iPhone 13, iPhone 12 and AirPods in China

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6.1-inch iPhone 13 review
Apple will discounts its selected products in China for a limited time.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

In a rare move, Apple will run a four-day promotion in China and offer hefty discounts of up to RMB 600 ($90). The discount will be applicable for iPhone 13, iPhone 12, iPhone SE, Apple Watch SE and AirPods.

The promotion will run from July 29 through August 1.

Your next iPad could come from Vietnam

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iPad Air 5
COVID-19 lockdowns in China force Apple to diversify iPad production.
Photo: Apple

The lockdown in Shanghai and nearby regions, and China’s strict zero-COVID policy, have forced Apple to move some iPad production out of the country and to Vietnam for the first time.

The company already expects to take an $8 billion revenue hit in the ongoing quarter due to supply chain disruptions caused by the Chinese lockdowns.

iPhone 14 Max could be hard to get your hands on at launch

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iPhone 14 Pro concept in white
You could have to wait longer to get your on the iPhone 14 Max
Concept: Jon Prosser/Ian Zelbo

Haitong International Securities analyst Jeffy Pu has provided more insight into the iPhone 14’s production delay and revealed that the production of the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max has been the worse affected by the lockdown in China.

A supply chain report from earlier in the week claimed that iPhone 14’s production was running behind schedule.