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Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus heading to 36 more countries in October

Apple is set to expand the availability of its new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus later this month, as the company announced on Monday that the handsets would begin rolling out in three dozen new countries —including rising key markets India and China —on Oct. 17.



The small principality of Monaco will join India and China in the Oct. 17 launch, with Israel following on Oct. 23 and the Czech Republic, French West Indies, Greenland, Malta, Poland, Reunion Island and South Africa starting sales on Oct. 24. The expansion will move to the Middle East on Oct. 30 with Bahrain and Kuwait, while consumers in Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Guam, Hungary, Iceland, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macau, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, South Korea, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine and Thailand will be able to purchase a new iPhone on Oct. 31.

Apple will have put the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus on sale in 69 countries and territories around the world by the end of October, with the goal of nearly doubling that to 115 countries before 2015. The company calls this its fastest iPhone rollout ever.

The iPhone 6 series marks Apple's first foray into large-screened handsets, shipping in two models with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays. The new devices also sport a number of other improvements over their predecessors, including upgraded cameras, a new industrial design, and an NFC chip for Apple's upcoming Apple Pay mobile payments system that is expected to launch later this month.

Consumers responded positively to the release, purchasing some 10 million of the devices in their first weekend of availability. That record number comes despite the fact that mainland China— a major market which received the iPhone 5s on its first day of sales— will not gain access to the handsets until nearly one month after their initial release.