Once again, an Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone leak has sprung out of China. The latest leaked image shows a slate/black iPhone 5S with regulatory markings that seem to indicate it is ready to be sold on the Chinese market.
The image was originally posted on China’s CtechCN website and first reported by Dutch-language blog iPhone5SKopen. Unfortunately, the iPhone seen in the low-quality photo is encased in a protective cover that makes it difficult to read the markings on the casing.
However, the pill-shape dual LED flash window that has been seen in previous iPhone 5S leaks is clearly visible. An enlargement provided by the leaker appears to show a triple-C logo imprinted on the back of the device. The CCC Mark is the China Compulsory Certificate that is required for many products sold on the Chinese market. 9to5Mac also notes that this image disproves BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis’s theory that Apple would only sell the lower-cost iPhone 5C in China.
Assuming this is a photo of a genuine iPhone 5S, it would appear to offer definitive proof that the next-generation iPhone is ready to be sold in China. This is good news for Apple investors, since the Chinese market is likely to be the key to much of Apple’s future growth. According to IDC estimates, China’s smartphone market is expected to exceed 460 million units by 2017.
Apple’s decision to hold an iPhone premiere in China appears to be part of the Cupertino, California-based company’s overall strategy to raise its profile in the world’s largest smartphone market. For the first time, Apple has scheduled a separate iPhone premiere that will be held in Beijing on Wednesday.
Here’s how Apple has traded in the past 5 sessions:
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