China Telecom, one of the carriers in China to carry Apple’s iPhone, posted a message on microblogging website Weibo indicating that it will soon carry both of Apple’s upcoming iPhones: the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. The message has since been deleted.
With Apple holding a satellite stream of the September 10th media event in China, it is already likely that the country will see a promoted launch of both of the new iPhones. However, the information from China Telecom seems to indicate that the launch will occur early in Apple’s new iPhone release cycle. With past iPhone launches, Apple saved the China debut for weeks or months after the device’s first hit countries like the United States, Germany, and Australia.
A post on Sina indicates a September 20th launch, a date forecasted by some reports.
Perhaps corroborating a launch soon after the unveiling, major China-based retailer Dixintong is said to begin carrying the new iPhones on September 25th. It’s unclear if this is a general launch date for China, or just the date that this specific retailer has chosen.
In addition to seeing the device early-on in the release plan, recent chatter seems to indicate that China Mobile, the largest mobile carrier in the country, will gain the iPhone with the launches of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. The lower-cost, plastic backed iPhone 5C seems to have been developed with markets such as China in mind…
The China Telecom Weibo posting also touted pre-orders for the new iPhones, but that option has since disappeared on the carrier’s official website. To go with pre-orders, the carrier offered “high-end gift bags” to promote the launch.
China Telecom’s website even offered some mockup images (all images shown below – click for larger) of both the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, but we do not believe the photos from China Telecom of the “iPhone 5C” are accurate. Most leaks and chatter has pointed to the iPhone 5C receiving a plastic casing. Our own sources have informed us that the 5C is essentially an iPhone 5 wrapped up in different colored plastics. With this in mind, the images and technical specifications listed on China Telecom’s website should not be believed.
The iPhone 5S, on the other hand, is built to look like an iPhone 5, but it will likely include additional enhancements such as a biometric fingerprint scanner, and improved processor, and improved camera hardware and software.