iPhone 6 (China teaser 001)

Though Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus won’t officially launch in the Chinese market until later this month, the nation’s three mobile carriers have already managed to book more than two million reservations just six hours after opening their queues, according to ITHome and Sina reports [Google Translate] cited by AppleInsider.

What’s even more interesting, the vast majority of initial reservations have been 64GB iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models in gold.

Given both models cost nearly $1,000, early demand proves again that colorful jumbo-sized handsets are all the rage in the 1.33 billion people market.

A survey in March by Chinese market research group Umeng found that 57 percent of phones sold cost less than $330, with Apple having moved 80 percent of all phones priced above $500.

“At the time, the cheapest phone Apple was selling was iPhone 4S at $535,” observed the publication. “Apple now sells iPhone 5c for that price, while two models of iPhone 5s (16/32GB) are now priced at $731 and $796”.

According to Apple’s press release yesterday, the company will start taking online pre-orders for the new iPhones in China on Friday, October 10. Beginning Tuesday, October 14, customers can reserve the new iPhones for in-store pick-up starting Friday, October 17, through Apple Authorized Resellers and carriers China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom.

iPhone 6 iPhone 6 Plus side by side

Despite these official dates, carriers have already begun offering presale signups.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus support TD-LTE and FDD-LTE, the two flavors of fourth-generation Long-Term Evolution (LTE) cellular networking technology utilized by the country’s mobile operators.

The entry-level 16GB iPhone 6 is priced at 5,288 RMB ($861), with the 64 and 128GB models costing 6,088 RMB ($991) and 6,888 RMB ($1122). The 16/64/128GB iPhone 6 Plus is priced at 6,088/6,888/7,788 RMB ($991/1122/1269).

Apple said it sold ten million units (including the four million pre-orders in the first 24 hours) during the opening weekend in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

Currently, the U.S. Online Apple Store gives a 7-10 day shipping estimate for new iPhone 6 orders and a 3-4 week delay for iPhone 6 Plus orders.

[AppleInsider]