iPhone cleared for China launch
Apple’s latest smartphone and its first ever phablet will both officially go on sale on October 17.
Both handsets will be available for pre-order from the Apple Store, retailers and via all of China’s major network operators from October 10. What’s more, as with their launch in the US, Apple will be offering the same reserve and pick up service meaning that Chinese consumers can order a handset and collect it in-store, rather than having to queue, on October 17.
“We are thrilled to bring iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to our customers in China on all three carriers at launch,” said Apple’s CEO Tim Cook. “With support for TD-LTE and FDD-LTE, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus customers will have access to high-speed mobile networks from China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom for an incredible experience.”
The 4.7-inch display iPhone 6 is available in gold, silver or space grey and prices will start at 5,288 RMB for the 16GB model, topping out at 6,888 (RMB) for the monster 128GB model.
As for the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, the entry-level 16GB model comes with a suggested retail price of 6,088 RMB, while the top of the range 128GB version will cost 7,788 RMB.
The latest iPhone is already on sale in 33 countries around the world and Apple has promised that it will be available in 115 countries before the end of 2014.
However, despite record sales — over 10 million handsets were sold on launch weekend — there have been some hiccups. Firstly a bug-fix update to the handsets’ operating system caused problems and that was swiftly followed by what the tech media dubbed ‘Bendgate’. Users complained that the iPhone 6 Plus bent when carried in a pocket. The complaints led to a host of YouTube videos and a flurry of social media activity detailing how easy it was to deform the handsets but Apple countered by revealing that only 9 customers out of the initial 10 million had lodged a complaint about their handset.
Consumer Reports also carried out tests on the latest iPhones alongside the closest competitors — the HTC One, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the LG G3 as well as the iPhone 5 to test the validity of claims. It found that the HTC One and iPhone 6 were more likely to bend under pressure than the iPhone 6 Plus and that with all of the handsets tested: “It took significant force to do this kind of damage to all these phones,” Consumer Reports concluded. “While nothing is (evidently) indestructible, we expect that any of these phones should stand up to typical use.”-AFP/Relaxnews