Reuters is reporting that Apple has now received one of the two licences needed to allow it to sell the iPhone 6 in China. There is no word yet on the second licence required before the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus can be launched in this hugely important market.

Apple Inc’s iPhone 6 received regulatory approval for use on domestic frequencies but still requires one more critical licence before it may be sold in the country, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday […]

Apple still needs to obtain a critical network access licence for the iPhone, after which sales may begin, Xinhua said …

The iPhone 5s and 5c last year launched in China on the same day as in the U.S., but Apple is said to have told Chinese carriers not to expect the iPhone 6/Plus to be available tomorrow. A major Chinese business paper yesterday claimed that the new handsets would not go on sale in China until next year, but the reliability of this source is questionable.

Striking last year’s deal with China’s largest carrier, China Mobile, was a key step for Apple, enabling it to dramatically expand its sales in the world’s most populous country. While a delay launching the iPhone 6 in China will hurt Apple in the short-term, its medium-term prospects are unlikely to be greatly affected – and it may at least help the company keep pace with demand.

The iPhone 6 Plus went to 3-4 week delivery almost immediately when pre-orders opened, Apple announcing a record 4 million pre-orders across the two new models in the first 24 hours.

Photo credit: South China Morning Post

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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