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iPhone 6 reservations in China reach 2 million in 6 hours -- report

The reservations are reportedly spread across China's three major mobile carriers and various retailers, with the 64GB iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models proving the most popular.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read
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The latest iPhones will go on sale in China on October. 17 CNET

The iPhone 6 is already a hot commodity in China, based on initial reservations through mobile carriers and retailers.

A report posted Thursday by Chinese website Sina cites "incomplete statistics" indicating that Chinese carriers and retail outlets took in 2 million reservations for the new iPhone 6 handsets in just the first six hours, according to AppleInsider. And Chinese consumers aren't going the cheapest route. Most of the reservations are for the 64GB iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models, which sell for 6,088 yuan ($991) and 6,888 yuan ($1,121), respectively.

Following regulatory approval of the phones by the Chinese government, Apple announced Tuesday that the iPhone 6 will go on sale there on October 17. Available in gold, silver, or gray, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus will come with 16GB, 64GB and 128GB of built-in storage. Both models will be sold via Apple's online store and by reservation from Apple retail outlets. The phones will also be sold by China's three major carriers -- China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom -- as well as through Apple authorized resellers.

The new iPhones launched in the US and other countries on September 19, but China was late to the launch party due to regulatory delays. The country's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology needed to approve the new iPhones for network access before retailers could start offering them. The MIIT granted the necessary regulatory approval earlier this week, as confirmed by Apple on Tuesday.

As the world's largest smartphone market, China has become a significant source of sales for Apple. The company sold a record number of iPhone 5S handsets in China during 2013's fourth quarter. China also accounted for around 16 percent of Apple's $37.4 billion in sales in the second quarter.

The regulatory delay spurred sales of the iPhone 6 via China's black market, though initial demand did taper off.

The reservations in China reportedly hit the 2 million mark even through preorders have not yet actually kicked off. Chinese consumers can preorder the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus from Apple's online store starting Friday, October 10. Beginning Tuesday, October 14, customers can then reserve the new iPhones for in-store pick-up starting Friday, October 17.