China Telecom has confirmed the dual release of the iPhone 5S and 5C in the country through a post on China's Twitter equivalent Sina Weibo.
The post was hastily removed, but not before Chinese tech site techweb.com.cn grabbed a screen shot (opens in new tab). It stated that the new iPhones will be released in China either at the same time as the US or even before anywhere else.
According to techinasia.com's translation (opens in new tab), the post read: "China has been chosen as the/a first country where the iPhone 5S/5C will be shipped! Weibo preorder time! If you want to be one of the people who gets a handset on day one, click. Those who successfully preorder will also enjoy a high-end gift bag. (Because the iPhone products haven't actually shipped yet, detailed numbers and actual shipping information [may change]."
The post linked to a website where the iPhones could be preordered. The site is still up, but the preorder option has been replaced with the words "please wait".
Releasing the new phones in China first - particularly the 5C, which is expected to be a new budget level iPhone - would be a logical move by Apple due to the hype in the country this would bring.
Apple has began to greatly struggle in China, the world's biggest smartphone market, amongst fierce competition from better value local companies.
Even releasing the devices in the country at the same time as the US and Europe would be faster than normal - in the past Chinese customers have had to wait months later for the phone to ship.
Last quarter, Apple took just a 4.8 per cent market share and was pushed into seventh place by Xiaomi (opens in new tab), which was only founded in 2011. The firm's biggest rival in the global smartphone market, Samsung, continues to take the lead with a 17.6 per cent share in China.
Got your watch set to count down mode ahead of Apple's big 10 September unveiling? Follow our live updating coverage of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C launch (opens in new tab) for all the latest news and analysis and be sure to join us on the day!