China forced to wait for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus shipments

Apple has made the curious decision of excluding China, the world's biggest smartphone market, from its first wave of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus shipments.

The new handsets will be available for purchase on 19 September in the US and several other markets, including the UK, but a release date for China is yet to be announced.

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This staggered debut marks a change of tact from the iPhone 5S and 5C releases, where China was included in the initial wave of shipments along with 10 other countries including Hong Kong, Japan and Germany.

Apple is refusing to give away too many details at the moment, only saying that; "China is a key market for us and we will get there as soon as possible."

One possible reason for the delay could be that Apple is yet to receive certification from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) in China, although this is yet to be confirmed.

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An Apple web page that listed Australia, China, Hong Kong and Singapore as markets that would be able to purchase the new phones on 26 September only added to the confusion and was quickly edited to remove China from the list altogether.

Furthermore, some Chinese carriers have caused a stir in recent weeks by taking hundreds of thousands of pre-orders for an unnamed device that was assumed to be the iPhone 6, but despite this initial excitement, it seems that they may have to wait a little while longer than they first thought.