China is an absolutely huge smartphone market. So big that even though the iPhone currently only has the access rights to China's 3rd largest mobile carrier
, and has less than 10% of the smartphone market share
, China is the second largest market for Apple. And, today market the release of the iPhone 5 in the country.
Retail stores opened at 8AM today with the iPhone 5 in stock, and China Unicom reported earlier this week that it had received more than 300,000 pre-orders for the iPhone 5. Apple currently has about 100 million iPhone users in China, and is looking to take more. The country represents 15% of Apple's revenue for 2011.
The global release won't be stopping in China. Apple has plans to release the iPhone 5 in fifty more markets by the end of the year.