updated 11:05 pm EST, Thu November 24, 2011
iPhone 8GB from Brazil appears
A sighting late Thursday showed what should be the production for Apple from Foxconn's Brazilian factory. A white 8GB iPhone 4 at MacMagazine is identical to the China-produced model with the exception of "Industria Brasiliera" (Brazilian Industry) on the back as well as approval from ANATEL, the country's telecom regulator. While at first appearing to be a mockup, the running device shows an MD198BR model, hinting through the suffix that it's localized.
The example is one that slipped out of the factory and doesn't equate a release. Tips to the site had the official launch coming on December 2. Distribution for the locally-produced iPhone would start out in major cities in the South American country, such as Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paulo, moving out to smaller cities only over time.
It's unclear when the iPhone 4S will arrive in Brazil. The newer hardware has yet to get ANATEL clearance and may arrive only late in the year at best.
Foxconn's facilities in Brazil are eventually expected to cover a significant part of Apple's product line, making iPads in December. Expanding beyond China is considered important both to reduce Apple's dependence on one country for its supply as well as to overcome steep tariffs in Brazil that are meant to encourage local business and often raise the prices well beyond what could be found in neighboring states.