China Telecom, Apple’s iPhone carrier partner, may have inadvertently confirmed the launch of iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.
WSJ China reports that on Thursday afternoon the Chinese carrier put out a post advertising orders for iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C via micro-blogging service Sina Weibo. It was posted using China Telecom’s verified account.
China Telecom quickly removed the post, but not before Weibo users managed to get screenshots as you can see below.
The post claimed that China will be one of the first countries where the new iPhones will be launched. The post did not provide any details of the yet-to-be-launched products but gave customers an option to pre-order the new iPhones so that they could get them on the first day. WSJ reports:
The post added that though no details about the phone have yet been released, what is formally announced by Apple will be what users get.
Though the post itself has been deleted, the link for preorders still functions and now leads to a stripped-down landing page that reads in large font “Looking forward to…” and then in smaller red font, “If you have more hope, please leave your name and telephone here.” Though the website does not specifically mention the iPhone, the last part of the URL reads “iphone5s.asp.”
Apple doesn’t usually share its launch plans with carriers, so it is quite possible that the post was published by mistake or as a marketing stunt. Apple has usually launched the iPhone couple of months after it is launched in the U.S. as it takes longer to get an approval from regulators in China.
Apple is hosting a launch event on September 11 in Beijing for the first time, just after its iPhone event on September 10 in the U.S, so it won’t come as surprise if Apple starts offering the new iPhones a lot earlier this year.