Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) launched iPhone 5 in China just three days ago, but already, the company had managed to sell 2 million devices. The iPhone maker claims that the latest device is selling faster than ever in the Far East country.
“Customer response to iPhone 5 in China has been incredible, setting a new record with the best first weekend sales ever in China,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “China is a very important market for us and customers there cannot wait to get their hands on Apple products”.
The latest device from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was launched on Thursday in China, but before it could be sold through physical stores, hundreds of thousands of online reservations were already made for the device. In China, the device is offered in collaboration with carriers China Telecom and China Unicom, as of now, it’s still not being offered on China Mobile — the country’s largest carrier.
China is Apple’s second biggest market, after the U.S., and already accounts for about 15 percent ($23.8 billion) of the company’s revenue for its fiscal year that ended in September. iPhone5 sales topped 5 million units during the first weekend of launch in US, a million higher than the iPhone 4S.
This is the first time that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has issued a post-launch press release for iPhone sales in China. Apart from this huge achievement, a report from Topeka Capital markets says the move of Wal-Mart selling the 16GB iPhone 5 at a discounted price, may indicate a slow-down in the US demand. The report says “While the iPhone 5 is selling well in China, there has been growing concern about U.S. demand, as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) (WMT-$68.75: NR) announced on Friday that it will sell the 16GB iPhone 5 with a 2-year contract at a discounted price of just $127 (vs. $199 at Apple); however, we believe this could prove to be a marketing ploy to drive holiday traffic”.
The record of sales for iPhone5 is a significant one for the company, as it came amid the common perception that Apple is losing market share and Android-powered devices are eating up the growing smartphone market.
However, despite the record sales, Apple’s stock lost 3.8 percent on Friday to $509.79, after the iPhone 5’s China debut, while Citi Research downgraded Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s stock late on Sunday to “neutral” from “buy” and lowered Apple’s price target to $575 from $675, citing diminishing hype around the iPhone 5 and improving competition in smartphones.
In the fastest ever rollout of an iPhone, the device will also be on sale in more than 100 other countries by the end of the month.