iPhone 4S heads to China, 21 more countries on January 13

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Mainland China will get the iPhone 4S earlier than previously expected. The phone will be available next week on January 13, Apple announced today.

Additionally, the iPhone 4S will be available in 21 more countries on January 13, including Ecuador, Jamaica, Kenya, and other countries in those regions.

“Customer response to our products in China has been off the charts,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement today. “With the launch in China next week, iPhone 4S will be available in over 90 countries, making this our fastest iPhone rollout ever.”

Previous rumors pointed to a January 23 launch for the iPhone 4S in China.

It’s unclear how well Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant exclusive to the iPhone 4S, will function in the new markets. Siri has local features that will work in any region, but for others it will have to communicate with Apple’s servers and understand additional spoken languages. I thought Siri was the biggest reason to get the iPhone 4S, and without full support for it, the phone may be less tempting to international consumers.