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China Telecom has said in a blog post it would start taking ‘reservations’ for the Apple iPhone 5S and 5C, effectively confirming the 10 September release of the two new phones.

The blog posting has now been deleted, but not before its contents were widely relayed around the Internet.

It appears to have been the work of an over-eager junior manager, but the cat is out of the bag. The message appeared on China Telecom’s popular Weibo (microblogging) site, roughly the Chinese equivalent of Twitter.

“China has been chosen as the first country where the iPhone 5S and 5C will be shipped. Weibo preorder if you want to be one of those people to get a handset on day one! If you  preorder you will also get an exclusive gift bag. Because the iPhones haven’t shipped yet, detailed numbers and shipping information may change.”

There is no reason to doubt that the posting was anything other than genuine. China Telecom is a major partner of Apple’s in China and Apple’s Tim Cook has visited the country often in recent months to determine ways to improve Apple’s share of the world’s largest phone market.

Apple’s recent disappointing financial results revealed that its sales outside of the US, and especially in China, are declining. It needs to make a statement –shipping the new phones first in China would be such a move.

China Telecom’s premature blog announcement confirms the widely held speculation that there will be two new iPhones announced next week (Wednesday morning Australian time) – a low end 5C, and a higher end 5S. No details on specs, but that information too has been widely discussed, and there are unlikely to be any surprises.

Especially now some poor individual in China Telecom has jumped the gun. He will no doubt return from his re-education camp a wiser and more cautious man.

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire and editor of sister publication CommsWire. He is also founder and Research Director of Connection Research, a market research and analysis firm specialising in the convergence of sustainable, digital and environmental technologies. He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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