Oops. If there remained any doubt that Apple was about to release two iPhones – one named the iPhone 5S and another named the iPhone 5C – those doubts have been removed thanks to a slip-up by one of Apple's Chinese iPhone carriers, China Telecom.
"China has been chosen as [the/a] first country where the iPhone 5S/5C will be shipped!" blurted a, well, blurt on China Telecom's Beijing customer service microblogging site on Thursday, Tech In Asia reports.
Note that since Chinese does not use articles, it's impossible to know from the errant posting whether China will be the first country or a first country to offer the new iPhones. However, although Apple CEO Tim Cook has been giving China a lot of attention recently, and will host an event in China a mere nine hours after its Cupertino shindig next Tuesday, the smart money is on the indefinite article.
Although past iPhones were delivered to happy fanbois in the US and other countries shortly after their announcements, those in China had to wait a goodly amount of time to get their hands on Apple's latest shiny-shiny. If the China Telecom post is an authentic cockup, iPhone buyers in the Middle Kingdom will rise to rollout parity with their Western compatriots.
The post was soon taken down, but not before the Chinese-language site TechWeb grabbed a screenshot of it. After his breathless breaking of Apple's strict keep-your-mouth-shut policy, the possibily now-unemployed China Telecommer went on to link to a China Telecom web page where customers could preorder their new Cupertinian smartphones.
That page is still up, but instead of accepting preorder information, it now merely allows you to leave your name and phone number underneath a header that reads 敬请期待, which Google Translate renders as "Stay tuned". ®
After we reported the latest iPad rumors on Thursday morning, one wag said in Comments, "Next rumor, there hasn't been one in almost 10 minutes!" Our sincere apologies, sir or madam, for taking a couple of hours to oblige.