Finally, iPhone 6 to go on sale in China

iPhone 6 at an Apple store
Bilgin S. Sasmaz | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
iPhone 6 at an Apple store

Ten days after its global launch, the iPhone 6 was finally approved to be sold in China.

Apple was granted a license for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus after the devices were cleared for use on Chinese wireless networks, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said on its website Tuesday.

Customers will be able to pre-order the smartphones from Apple's online store beginning October 10 and in-store sales will start from the 17th.

The iPhone 6 was launched in nine countries on September 19 and smashed sales records during its first weekend. But its absence in China, the world's largest smartphone market and a critical market for Apple, surprised industry experts.

Read MoreWhat Apple spendsto build each iPhone 6

MIIT routinely inspects new smartphones before clearing them for use on Chinese networks. Concerns about security risks that could result in personal data breaches delayed Apple's license but were resolved through "rigorous security testing" and talks with Apple, MIIT said.

MIIT was also likely concerned about glitches related to Apple's latest software update, analysts said.

Apple came under fire for glitches in its iOS 8 update last week. It quickly released two updates to address these glitches in the days following the iOS8 debut. But even the second update, iOS 8.0.2, had security flaws that allowed anyone to access a user's device, bypassing the Touch ID and Passcode features.

'Bendgate' & Apple's reliability testing lab
'Bendgate' & Apple's reliability testing lab   

Fierce competition

The iPhone 6's approval could lead to fiercer competition between China's carriers, according to research firm CICC.

"The current 70 percent/15 percent/10 percent revenue market split is extremely unbalanced. China Unicom and China Telecom see the iPhone6 as their great opportunities to obtain new subscribers, while China Mobile is not willing to give up its market share. Therefore, the 3 operators may even re-launch handset subsidies to attract subscribers even though S&M cutting is required by regulators," CICC analysts said in a note.

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MIIT's approval will also level the playing field between Apple and Samsung in China. Samsung released its latest offering, the Galaxy Note, 4 last Friday.

Meanwhile, Apple faces increased competition from Chinese smartphone makers. Xiaomi, often described as the Chinese Apple, became China's top smartphone vendor in August, according to research group Canalys.

"Xiaomi is definitely taking the best out of Samsung and Apple. There's speculation that they are coming up with a next big product: Xiaomi 2, which may further intensify competition with Apple," said Ryan Huang, market strategist at IG.

Read MoreXiaomi's flash sale mentality is alienating consumers

China's telecom subsidies could pose another challenge for the iPhone 6, Huang added.

The country's three major telecom carriers are reportedly reducing handset subsidies of up to $5 billion, which will favor local, low-cost smartphone makers. In the past, providers like China Telecom offered Apple iPhones fully subsidized in exchange for a multi-year contract.