CHINESE mainland consumers and businesses, whose expectations of the just-released iPhone 6 were high, felt disappointed after discovering they won’t be able to buy the models as the mainland is not among the first markets for the phone’s global sales debut.
But still the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, both featuring bigger screens and mobile payment, as well as Apple’s first smartwatch — all unveiled on Tuesday in California — had people excited and talking about them.
The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus represented “the biggest advancement in the history of iPhones” in the words of Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive.
The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch screen and the iPhone 6 Plus boasts a 5.5-inch screen. Both feature upgraded 8-megapixel camera with faster auto-focus and optical image stabilization technology.
The new iPhones will be available in 10 markets, including the US, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore from September 19.
In Hong Kong, the phones will cost between HK$5,588 (US$716) for the 16-gigabyte iPhone 6 and HK$8,088 for the 128GB iPhone 6 Plus.
It’s surprising the Chinese mainland missed the global sales debut because Apple launched iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C in the domestic market on their worldwide sales kickoff.
“We are surprised and hurt by the news,” said a marketing official at China Mobile, who declined to be identified.
The domestic telecommunication carriers yesterday canceled their iPhone 6 pre-order campaigns and pre-order webpages.
Apple hasn’t decided the debut date for the phones on the mainland probably because of the absence of government approval or enough 4G network support, Shanghai Daily learned. Apple still requires approval from the Chinese regulator before launching the iPhones, Sina.com reported yesterday.
Apple China initially posted September 26 as the release date yesterday morning but it deleted links in the afternoon.
Though the mainland is not included in the first batch of release, online vendors on Taobao.com offer the phone at around 5,000 yuan (US$815) for pre-orders of the Hong Kong and US models.
Apple cut the prices of iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, with the iPhone 5S now selling from 4,488 yuan (US$731), 800 yuan cheaper than the previous price.
Apple also unveiled a new mobile wallet service called Apple Pay that will allow consumers to simply tap their phones to pay retailers. But the technology is now only available in the US market.
“It’s still too early for the Chinese market where the credit card is not fully popular,” said Li Ye, a researcher at Analysys International.