iPhone 6 facing delay in China, possibly by Chinese govt

12 Sep 2014

Apple’s retailers in China – one of the world’s biggest markets – have been told will have to wait longer than other countries for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus over what could be regulatory issues imposed by the state.

Apple had been fighting hard for the iPhone smartphone to be released in China and had appeared to have made the breakthrough last January when China Mobile, the country’s biggest mobile provider, began officially selling the device.

Now, according to the New York Times, Apple’s re-sellers have been just as dumbfounded as Apple’s executives back in the US, who had expected sales of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to begin on 19 September, but political issues may be one of the main reasons for its delay.

Both the US and Chinese governments have been engaged in tit-for-tat accusations of cybersypying, with the Chinese government even going as far as to raid the headquarters of Microsoft’s Chinese operations over a perceived national threat.

China’s decision to sell the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus on the same day as its US release, weeks before the phone’s launch internationally, has been seen as a sign of China’s establishment as being on par with the US in terms of importance to Apple.

Speaking to the New York Times, an Apple sales manager within China, criticised Apple for its handling of the situation, saying it has “completely let us down without prior notice”.

As of now, the Chinese Apple website merely says the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be released soon.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic