chinese iphone event

Just one day after Apple sent out invitations to a September 10 media event to take place at its Cupertino, California headquarters, the company has apparently sent out invites to a separate event to be held in China a day later.

The event will take place at Beijing’s World Trade Center, and notably, the invitation looks exactly like the one sent out yesterday, albeit the Chinese text. So why would would Apple want to hold a separate iPhone event in China?

Apple CEO Tim Cook walks with employees as he arrives at the headquarters of China Telecom in Beijing

There’s actually several possible reasons. First off, the company has acknowledged that China is a major area of growth for them. It’s the largest market for smartphones and tablets, and it has 3 of the world’s top 10 wireless carriers.

Tim Cook himself has declared the need for Apple to up its presence in the country—a stance further evidenced by his recent trip to Beijing. In fact, Cook has been spotted in various parts of China at least 3 times within the last 2 years.

china mobile sign

Additionally, the fact that Apple has scheduled a separate media event for China could be due to a new China Mobile partnership. The carrier is the largest in the world, with 600 million subscribers, and it doesn’t currently offer the iPhone.

But that’s not due to the lack of trying, as the two companies have met on a number of occasions over the past few years. Recent talks, however, have seemed much more successful, so it’s possible that the firms have finally struck a deal.

Budget iPhone (NowhereElse 001, blue)

Finally, the reason could simply have something to do with the iPhone 5C. Seeing as how a majority of China’s wireless customers are prepaid, the announcement of a new colorful $300ish handset could certainly be worth its own event in the country.

Or perhaps it’s a combination of all three. Either way, it’s an interesting move—one that I don’t recall Apple making in recent years. So I’m looking forward to seeing what the company has in store, for both events. Next week can’t come soon enough.

According to Chinese outlet Sena Tech, the Beijing event will kick off at 10am CST on September 11.

Thoughts?