Apple said today that its iPhone 4S will hit stores in China and 21 other countries on January 13, marking the expanded availability of the blockbuster smartphone.
The additional countries come at a time when Apple is trying to hang on to its leadership position in the smartphone world even as the Android operating system has long surpassed it in market share. The iPhone 4S remains the single most popular phone, although scores of Android phones have proven to be worthy rivals.
The iPhone 4S will be key to Apple's fiscal first-quarter results, which come out on January 24. The company missed iPhone expectations in the last period as consumers held off on buying an iPhone until the new model came out.
Apple said in October that it sold 4 million iPhone units in the first three days after the launch of the 4S, which should help with its financial performance.
In addition to China, Apple will expand into numerous smaller countries, including Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Cameroon, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, China, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Grenada, Guam, Guinea Conakry, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Niger, Senegal, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, and Uganda.