Two of Apple’s latest iPhone 12 models went on sale in China on Friday after early pre-order data showed strong consumer interest in the 5G-enabled device in the company’s second-largest market.
The short lines in front of the Apple stores in Shanghai’s business center contrasted with the crowds that flocked to earlier launch events as most orders have now been postponed online.
“I feel great to be the first customer to get the new iPhone,” said Yan Bingqing, 30, who arrived before the store opened and was in a line of about 20 people. “I have waited a long time.”
A new shade of green for the iPhone 12 was also a top trending topic in the Chinese app Weibo on Friday and triggered positive reactions.
Apple’s announcement last week initially attracted mixed ratings in China, but analysts expect orders to surge this year as loyal iPhone owners finally buy new phones compatible with updated 5G network infrastructure.
Chinese e-commerce retailer JD.com recorded pre-orders for all four iPhone 12 models of 1.6 million on the first day of the announcement.
“From the bottom of my heart, it’s a little late for Apple to bring out the 5G iPhone,” said Zhu Lin, another Apple fan who was waiting in line. “I expected it last year.”
Apple and Huawei are the only top phone manufacturers to see shipment growth in China this year. Apple saw a 35 percent annual increase in the second quarter, according to research firm Canalys.
Apple’s store launch follows that of the flagship Huawei Mate 40 device on Thursday that some in China had been waiting for before settling on the iPhone 12.
© Thomson Reuters 2020
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