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China iPhone 6 reservations reportedly top 4M before pre-orders even start

Once the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus officially launch in China on October 17, we’ll know how big that record of first weekend sales could have been. Apple sold 10 million of the new handsets, topping last year’s 9 million on the opening sales weekend but this year’s figure was without China. According to media reports in the country spotted by 9to5 Mac, there are now 4 million reservations for the new phones, notes Tencent.

Apple's newest phones: iPhone 6 Plus and the iPhone 6. Photo by Tom Krazit/Gigaom
Apple’s newest phones: iPhone 6 Plus and the iPhone 6. Photo by Tom Krazit/Gigaom

China was expected to be an initial launch-day region last month. Security concerns from Chinese regulatory groups held up an approval for the new iPhones to be sold, however. After discussing the iOS 8 software and issues around backdoor access to private user data, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology this week gave Apple the approvals it needed to sell the phones in China.

The official pre-order process for a new [company]Apple[/company] iPhone 6 or 6 Plus doesn’t begin until October 10. However, carriers often launch a web page for those interested in upcoming handsets and will take registered email addresses in advance. The reported 4 million reservations then aren’t pre-orders per se and therefore may not all convert to sales. However, they show the strong demand for Apple’s larger handsets in the highly populated nation where bigger phones are more the norm rather than the exception.

We’ll see the official sales numbers later of course, but at this point, it looks like Apple’s record weekend for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sales could have easily been 50 percent higher if China was in the mix on day one.