Is the iPhone Important To Apple's China Future And Chinese Carriers? You Betcha!
This post from iLounge says quite a bit about Apple, iPhone, and China. A lot. First, China Telecom will invest close to a quarter billion US dollars on marketing the iPhone. A quarter alone on just a single device. Sure, it happens to be Apple's iPhone. What does that mean?
Well, the timing suggests that the iPhone will launch in China this year, perhaps a few weeks to a month after the North American launch. Maybe a few weeks after the European launch. It suggests just how Apple sees the Chinese market. In the past, the iPhone doesn't make it to the Chinese market until months after the US release.
An early launch not only shows just how much pinned up demand there are for the iPhone in China, but that Apple sees future growth in Asia powered by the Chinese market. And if past US launches are any indication, the iPhone 5 launch will be huge. And an early Chinese launch will eliminate the gray market that has plagued the market and caused massive shortages here in the US.
And with dragons being a good luck charm to the Chinese, this plan is called the "Dragon Plan". And it suggests that preorders will start at the end of September (probably early October). Furthermore, training and staffing will commence soon.
And just to underscore the importance of the Chinese market, Tim Cook was recently spotted in China, likely negotiating with China Mobile, world's biggest telecom, on the iPhone. And even Steve Jobs reportedly was personally involved in the negotiations.