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iPhone 4 comes to China this week

by Phil Hornshaw

Apple (AAPL) is preparing to take on the Chinese market. The company started taking pre-orders for the iPhone 4 last Friday, and customers were lined up as long as three days before the launch of the iPad that same morning.

The new iPhone goes on sale in China on Sept. 25. It will retail for CNY4,999 ($745) for the 16GB version and CNY5,999 ($893) for the 32GB. Prices with contracts are available at

As for the iPad, Chinese customers were able to take home the Wi-Fi version of the computer for CNY3,988 (about $593) for the 16GB model. The 3G version of the iPad is listed as “coming soon” on Apple’s China web site, with no information as to when it’ll be available in the country.

Apple also plans to open a new store in Beijing the day it releases the iPhone, which will give it two storefronts in the country, with the other in Shanghai.

Chinese market prepares for Android

Meanwhile, the Japanese company Sharp Corp. will be shipping two new Android-based smartphones to China next month. Those phones will be able to download about 1,000 games and apps from a special Web site, according to the company.

Sharp’s phone will come in two touch-screen models – one with a 3.2-inch screen, one with a 3.5-inch screen. The 3.2-inch model will retail for about CNY2,200 ($327), while the 3.5-inch version will go for CNY3,000 ($446).

Friday also marked the release of the iPad in several other countries: Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Columbia and Argentina all now have access to Apple’s machine.