The iPhone 4S already on sale in China at high price

The Apple store in Shanghai.

Apple iPhone4S is not yet officially for sale in China, however, it was already available in Beijing from Saturday in several stores but at prices much higher than in countries where this new model of smartphone was launched Friday.

“Today we have two from Canada, on sale at 11,000 yuan (1,243 euros) each. If you’re interested, come right away,” said a saleswoman in a shop of mobile phones on the Hailong market of Beijing. She said it was a 16-gigabyte model, the cheapest and least powerful of the range. In the U.S., the iPhone4S is sold 199 dollars with a two-year contract.

China had 940 million mobile phone users in late August, 94 million users of 3G service, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

According to Wang Jianzhou, president of China Mobile, the company sold 9.5 million iPhones till late September, reported the Beijing Youth Daily. The second operator China Unicom, for its part announced lower prices for iPhone 3G and iPhone 4 as of Sunday, even though no official release date of iPhone 4S has been announced for China.

After the release in seven countries Friday, the latest model of Apple iPhone will be marketed in 22 countries on October 28. According to observers, the launch in China could take place “at the end of the year”.

Apple enjoys great popularity in China, where many fans are willing to queue for hours to buy their latest products. After the death of Apple founder Steve Jobs last week, nearly 35 million microblogs had been posted to pay tribute to Steve Jobs on the service Sina Weibo.