China Mobile Subsidiary Starts Accepting iPhone 5s/5c Preorders
After years of rumours, here is the first sign of a China Mobile iPhone launch: a subsidiary of the world’s largest carrier has opened up reservations for iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c in Suzhou.
Chinese blog CTechCN has reported a leaked test page of China Mobile’s iPhone 5s, 5c preorders, but the page disappeared shortly after the report. First noticed by Fortune’s Philip Elmer-Dewitt, the Suzhou subsidiary’s preorder page was slightly different, as it wasn’t a direct preorder system, but a page where customers interested in acquiring an iPhone could schedule an “appointment”, or something similar, to purchase the device.
The page is currently down – the message says they are updating the page – but the interest was huge. According to UnwiredView, during the few hours the page was live, it racked up 1200+ preorders.
What’s interesting is the move to launch a preorder page in Suzhou, a city with a population of between 4 and 5 million. While we don’t know the exact reason, we can speculate that this was sort of a market test, or maybe an accidental leak?
As we previously reported, China Mobile will launch its 4G network on December 18, and industry sources have head that the iPhone will debut on the 4G network of the world’s largest carrier. According to the latest data available, China Mobile has 740 million subscribers.