Apple courts China with Beijing launch eventBy Asian Correspondent Sep 05, 2013 12:13PM UTC
Apple has revealed that it will hold a special launch event in Beijing on September 11 to coincide with the expected US launch of the new iPhone range in the United States. This is the first time Apple has held a launch event in China.
The event, which will be held just hours after the highly anticipated California announcement, is likely to include the unveiling of the new iPhone 5S and the low-cost iPhone 5C.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has said China could become Apple’s biggest market. Although it is still struggling to gain the market share it desires in the face of a glut of cheap Android devices in China, next week’s event in Beijing seems to be a clear statement of intent.
(READ MORE: Apple smartens up to Asia with low-cost iPhone)
Apple held less than 5 per cent of the smartphone market share in China in Q2, and has continued to lose ground to Android devices this year.
Reuters reports that the Beijing event will broadcast what happened in California. But speculation is rife that a much-anticipated deal with China’s largest carrier China Mobile will be announced, giving Apple access to its 700 million subscribers.
If that deal and the low-cost iPhone 5C – expected to retail for about US$400 – are confirmed, Mr Cook’s aims for China could well come to fruition.
There has also been some speculation that the release date of the new handsets in China will be brought forward to coincide with when they go on sale in other major markets.
Apple will also hold satellite launch events in Tokyo and Berlin next week.