Apple will be hosting a media event in Cupertino on Tuesday, September 10, and will follow that up with a similar event in Beijing. Adding a second media event just for China sends a strong signal: Apple is serious about taking the country's smartphone market.
China gets its own Apple media event next week
Sina Tech noted that the Beijing media event is scheduled for September 11 at 10AM local time, which puts it after Apple's Tuesday morning event in Cupertino. The invitations Chinese journalists received match those that were sent to everyone that was invited to the Cupertino event, although the text wasn't in English.
Apple hasn't hosted separate media events just for China in the past, so adding one now means the company wants to make sure it has the country's attention. The bottom line is that Apple wants to sell more iPhones in China.
Reports claim that Apple has been negotiating with China Mobile, the world's largest cell service provider with more than 700 million subscribers. China Mobile also happens to be the only mobile service company in China that doesn't currently offer the iPhone in its product lineup. Adding China Mobile to its partner carriers would be a huge feather in Apple's cap and would open up potential iPhone sales to an even larger customer base.
To help entice even more potential iPhone customers in the country, Apple is reportedly launching the iPhone 5C at its media event. The 5C model will be a midrange smartphone, and a new product for Apple. The midrange smartphone market is big in China, and by targeting those customers directly, Apple has a better chance of drawing them into the Apple crowd.
The iPhone 5C will be less expensive than the top of the line iPhone 5S. While it will share many of the same features as its more expensive sibling, the 5C will sport a scratch resistant plastic back that's available in several colors. Using plastic will help keep production costs down, but will also catch the eye of consumers that are interested in an iPhone, but don't want the familiar glass and metal design found on the current models -- and presumably the iPhone 5S, as well.
Embracing China's consumers directly is a smart move for Apple, and if the company really is swinging a deal with China Mobile, making the announcement in the country makes sense. Apple's presence in China hasn't been as strong as in other regions, and number of potential iPhone buyers in the country is huge. Apple can continue to increase iPhone marketshare in other parts of the world, but the potential in China is explosive, and right now it looks like Apple is ready to light that fuse.