Tuesday, December 18, 2012

iPhone 5 debuts in China; two million sold in its first weekend

When Apple's stock tanked last Friday, one of the reasons given was a tepid iPhone 5 introduction in China. Was it really as muted as all that? A Monday report tried to analyze the sales data.

Apple announced on Monday that in its opening weekend, it sold more than two million iPhone 5s. Last year's model, the iPhone 4S didn't arrive on Chinese networks (along with 21 additional countries) until Jan. 13.

However, although the new model reached China nearly a month sooner than last year, when analyzing the China intro date vs. the intro date of the device, period, the news is not so exciting. In 2011, the iPhone 4S launched in the U.S. on Oct. 14; this year, the iPhone 5 launched in the U.S. on Sept. 21. Thus, the earlier delivery isn't really as early as some think.

That being said, we're sure Chinese fans of the iPhone on China Unicom and China Telecom are happy to see the device pre-Christmas.

Looking at the numbers, Friday's dismal view of the Chinese launch has turned to gold after Apple's announcement of sales figures. The iPhone 5's two million in Chinese sales is a record, besting all previous Chinese iPhone releases. It's even better than the iPhone 4S, which saw launch-day riots in January.

This is the first time the Apple has released first weekend Chinese sales numbers for an iPhone, showing that Apple has greater focus on the world's current largest mobile market than ever before.

Apple reminded readers that the iPhone 5 will be available in more than 100 countries by the end of December, which will also be the fastest iPhone rollout ever.

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