Mystery over iPhone 4S release date in Hong Kong and China

By Alan Ng - Oct 5, 2011

If you tuned in to Apple’s Let’s Talk iPhone event via a live blog a few hours ago, you will know that the company unveiled the iPhone 4S to the world, and that it will be launching in a total of 29 countries before the end of October.

However, one head-scratcher to come out of the event, is the fact that Apple failed to give a solid release date for the new device for buyers in Hong Kong and China, despite Apple’s new found ‘love’ for China so to speak.

The company even kicked off their event by talking about their brand new store openings in Hong Kong and Shanghai, but failed to give a Hong Kong and China release date at the end of the event, with Japan and Singapore the only confirmed Asian markets to get the device so far. Japan will get the iPhone 4S on day one on October 14th, while customers in Singapore will have to wait until October 28th to get their hands on it.

Are Apple simply worried about sales expectations in HK and China, or does the problem stem deeper? Piracy may be one problem that Apple are worried about as if you have been to China, you’ll know that counterfeit iPhone models are freely available to buy, and remains a huge problem for Apple. This happens in Hong Kong too, but it’s nowhere as near as bad as their near neighbours.

Hopefully Apple will give an answer as to why Hong Kong and China have been omitted from the list, but for now eager buyers may have to import to get their iPhone 4S fix on day one like the rest of the world. Otherwise, it looks like consumers in Asia not based in Japan or Singapore will have to wait until December for the device to roll out.

Do you have possible ideas on Apple’s thinking behind this?

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  • Anonymous

    i really don’t think is about piracy.I live in china, i can tell you , i already seen people with iphone 4gs since maybe 10-13 october(before any release), you can take look at some chinese website if you can read chinese or go maybe i think micgadget got one, you could actually see siri video and other stuff while in other country they were just getting the news.Plus all the iphone is already produce in china.Do you think the grey markey is actully waiting for the official release to officialy pirate seriously…OO.Hong kong , china right now you can buy iphone 4gs in lot of place imported or directly from the factory,which some (rare)people like everything in china can get with proper relation 关系.
    And i think like david Chen say it’s because it’s not release in china and hong kong that it’s actually supporting a LOT the gray market.Right now i’m in shanghai except the gray market how the h*** i am supposed to buy a 4gs.If it’s release by apple i can buy it officialy in the apple store and for a cheaper price than gray market…….

  • David Chen16

    Without a release date for Hong Kong… Apple is supporting the grey market in Hong Kong.

  • Carl

    Alan Ng, I really don’t see why/how piracy would affect the release date in Hong Kong/China. If anything, the main problem for apple is the thriving grey market in HK/China.

  • Chris K

    Alan Ng – you are rubbish!  That’s just a silly reason and proves you know nothing about business.

  • iphoner

    It’s pretty silly to say that Apple is worried about iphone counterfeits in China.  If one wants to counterfeit it, I’m sure they will get their hands on one, no matter where it’s sold.  And if anyone/company can counterfeit the entire iphone, all props to them.  Not even samsung/nokia can copy it, why would you think others can. My guess is the settlement with carriers.  By not officiating a date for china/hk, it gives Apple more leverage in negotiation to delay their sales indefinitely.