BEIJING, Sept 4 Apple Inc has invited
Chinese journalists to an event in Beijing on Sept. 11, just
hours after it is widely expected to unveil its newest iPhone
models in the United States, Chinese media reported on
It would mark the first time that the company has held
near-simultaneous events in the United States and in China.
It could also fuel speculation that it may announce a
long-awaited deal with China Mobile Ltd, which is the
world's biggest mobile phone company by customers and the only
one of China's big carriers that does not have an agreement with
Apple and China Mobile did not immediately respond to emails
and phone calls seeking comment. Top executives from the two
companies met in China in late July, bolstering expectations
that an agreement was near.
The U.S. tech giant has struggled to maintain its star power
in China, slipping to seventh place in second-quarter smartphone
sales, according to research firm Canalys. Its revenue from
China plummeted 43 percent from the first quarter and 14 percent
from the same period last year.
Apple is expected to unveil a less-costly iPhone at an event
at its Cupertino, California, headquarters on Sept. 10. Analysts
have said Apple needs a lower-priced device to drive growth in
emerging markets such as China, where most consumers cannot
afford its full-priced models.