updated 10:45 pm EDT, Sun September 19, 2010
iPhone 4 hits China Sept 25 with new stores
Apple tonight confirmed plans to launch the iPhone 4 in China and added the surprise of two new Chinese stores. The device will go on sale in the country on September 25 at 8AM local time. Official Apple stores will sell contract-free 16GB and 32GB models for 4,999 Renminbi ($743) and 5,999 Renminbi ($892); China Unicom will have it available on a two-year contract with prices to be revealed later.
A suspected expansion of Chinese retail has also been validated and will see one store each open in each of Apple's existing footholds in the Asian state. In Beijing, a store will open in Xidan Joy City at the same time as the iPhone 4 goes on sale. Shanghai residents will see a store open in Hong Kong Plaza as well.
The launches come just as Lenovo is preparing a major push with Android in the country and has criticized Apple for being slow to market without as much impact as it could have. Among the touching points, critics have commonly noted that the lack of a China Mobile iPhone with the country's TD-SCDMA format effectively cuts Apple off from over half a billion potential customers.