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
The event would mark the first time that the company has
held near-simultaneous briefings in the United States and in
China, the world's biggest mobile phone market where Apple has
been losing its star power to rivals like Samsung Electronics Co
The event has fuelled speculation that Apple 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
the U.S. tech giant.
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.
Some analysts, however, said Apple was likely to unveil a
new product at the event and cut the months-long waiting time
Chinese consumers have had for the latest iPhone.
"I think the primary purpose of the event will be for a new
product launch," said Sandy Shen, a research director with
consultancy Gartner in Shanghai. "Though an announcement with
China Mobile is possible... I won't hold my breath."
Apple slipped to seventh place in second-quarter smartphone
sales in China, according to research firm Canalys. Its China
revenue for its fiscal quarter ended June 29 plummeted 43
percent from the previous period 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.