China regulator says iPhone 6 in final review stages: Tencent

BEIJING - Apple Inc's iPhone 6 is in the final stages of review for approval, with results due shortly, a top Chinese government regulator said in an interview published on Tuesday by Tencent.

The status of the iPhone 6 in China has been a mystery since Apple unveiled the device this month without releasing a launch date for the world's largest smartphone market.

The delay has led to widespread speculation the iPhone has run into difficulty securing regulatory approval from China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), with some reports suggesting the launch could be delayed until 2015.

"The iPhone 6 has entered the final stage of the approval process, now it's just a matter of time," MIIT chief Miao Wei told Tencent in an exclusive interview in Beijing. "Netizens, please wait patiently."

Miao declined to offer a time frame for completion of the review, saying only that he expected a result "very soon".

The ministry could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday.