Apple’s iPhone 5 will finally be released in China today (Friday December 14th). The move will boost Apple’s figures in the country, which have been hit by a slide in market share over recent years.
According to Reuters China is likely to be the world’s largest smartphone market but Apple’s presence there has been affected by a failure to strike a deal with China Telecom, the nation’s largest carrier.
China’s market is thought to be around 290 million users and is forecast to double during 2013. A deal with China Telecom would offer significant bonuses to Apple, Reuters said.
China is already Apple’s second biggest market and a deal with its biggest carrier would help increase its market share.
Apple will sell the iPhone 5 through China Unicom and China Telecom; pre-orders for the new smartphone hit 300,000 with China Unicom. That’s in stark contrast to pre-orders in other markets, where Apple’s regularly sells over one million devices before they are shipped.
Apple is also planning to launch iPhone 5 in over 50 countries during December 2012.