Apple announced Tuesday that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will go on sale in China on October 17th. The company had faced regulatory hurdles and scrutiny over security concerns from the Chinese government—according to Reuters, those concerns had been addressed to China's satisfaction.
Both new iPhone models will work on 4G and LTE networks in China. Apple said that China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom, who combined have well over a billion customers, will all sell Apple's large screen iPhones.
Customers will be able to preorder the new devices on October 10th. Starting on October 14th, they can reserve them for in-store pickup on October 17th.
“We are thrilled to bring iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to our customers in China on all three carriers at launch,” Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “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.”
This summer, China accused Apple's iOS 7 of allowing Chinese people to be tracked through location-based services, and the country's security services and various arms of state-owned media accused Apple of giving U.S. intelligence agencies back door access to its mobile devices.
In addition to denying the accusations, Apple went so far as to announce that in iOS 8 user data was encrypted, and that not even Apple could access user data on its mobile devices. While that has apparently angered U.S. law enforcement, I argued at the time that Apple made and advertised the move in part to reassure foreign governments suspicious of U.S. tech companies.
According to Reuters, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced on its website that iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus had been subjected to "rigorous security testing." The ministry also said that Apple had shared information about its technology relating to China's concerns.
iPhone 6 with 16GB of storage will retail for 5,288 yuan (US$860.16); the iPhone 6 Plus with 16GB of storage will retail for 6,088 yuan ($990.29). China has been working on phasing out subsidies at state-owned China Mobile, a move that benefits much lower-priced domestic devices based on Android.