Apple informed the top-three carriers in China on Wednesday it would not be offering the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus on September 19, leaving them caught off-guard, the New York Times reported. China is seen as the company’s fastest growing market, so it’s definitely an odd move, as China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom and customers in the area are eagerly awaiting the launch alongside the US and other countries worldwide.
The decision to delay the launch of the new iPhone 6 models in China doesn’t appear to be made by Apple. The New York Times reports that Apple did not explain the delay to executives at the carriers, however it appears the phones haven’t received approval from Chinese regulators to go on sale. Apple’s Chinese website stated that the date of the iPhone 6’s availability would “be updated soon.”
One theory for the Chinese regulators delay to approve the new iPhones could be out of revenge/weariness. The state-run CCTV reported in July that iPhones allow a user’s location to be tracked, which could potentially put Chinese government officials at risk. Apple shot the report down very quickly with a bold statement denying the claims.
“Apple has never worked with any government agency from any country to create a back door in any of our products or services,” the statement said in July. “We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will. It’s something we feel very strongly about.”
Apple hasn’t commented officially on the iPhone 6’s delay in China. A China Telecom sales manager told the New York Times Apple’s reasoning wasn’t detailed, saying “there are some details which are not ready.”