Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) recently received over 100,000 preorders for the new iPhone 5 in China via Unicom, by 4:00 pm their local time. This report came from Sina Tech.
Although the sixth generation smartphone won’t debut in stores until December 14th, buyers are asked to make reservations. The customers then fill out a form with things like their name, phone number, what iPhone model they want, and other specified details. When the phone arrives at the carrier, they will ship it directly to the consumer free of charge.
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The three carriers for the iPhone 5 include China Telecom Corporation Limited (NYSE:CHA) and China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited (ADR) (NYSE:CHU). Unfortunately, the country’s largest carrier, China Mobile, doesn’t sell Apple’s latest device. Apple tried to work with CM previously to see if they could formulate a deal, but no agreement was made. Apparently, CM wanted Apple to give them a cut of their revenue from the phones they sold at their store and naturally, Apple refused.
This means that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is missing a key market. China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE:CHL) has about 700 million customers. China’s Unicom and Telecom pale in comparison with 230 million and 152 million respectively.
During the last fiscal quarter, it was reported that China covered about 15% of the total revenue for Apple. This number should increase because the Cupertino-based tech giant will release three of their most currently popular products including the iPhone 5, iPad Mini, and the 4th generation iPad.
This huge increase in iPhone sales is a good thing for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), especially given the fact there were concerns over the decline in sales for previous iPhone generations.
Just what exactly has ignited the interest for the iPhone 5? According to IDC analyst Teck Zhung Wong, it’s pent-up demand. He explained, “This implies there’s some level of pent-up demand for the iPhone 5. We think (increased shipments) will manifest itself this quarter, and next quarter as well.”
Wong also noted that many of the market’s consumers already had the iPhone 4 and were waiting to replace their expiring two-year contracts.