The iPhone SE preorders have been decent at best in China. Apple’s much talked about 4-inch smartphone was unveiled on March 21 for users who still prefer a smaller handset. It is set to go on sale on March 31. The iPhone SE is simply a 4-inch version of iPhone 6S, though its lacks the 3D Touch technology. With a starting price of just $399, the device was aimed at winning customers in emerging markets like China and India.
Not all iPhone SE preorders would convert into sales
According to CNBC, the iPhone SE preorders exceed 3.4 million in China. It is not a bad number, but is nowhere near the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus figures. Apple sold 7.2 million iPhone 6S and 6S Plus units in China within two weeks of launch. By comparison, Xiaomi said earlier this month that it had received 16 million preorders for its new Mi5 smartphone.
It is worth pointing out that retailers in China do not require users to put money down while placing preorders. It is merely a ‘reservation’ with no exchange of money until the actual purchase. It means not all the iPhone SE preorders are going to convert into actual sales. Many customers who have reserved the device might change their minds later.
CNBC added that gold was the most popular version of the iPhone SE in the country, followed by rose gold color. The smartphone has been priced at CNY 3,288 ($505) for the basic 16GB version in China. The iPhone SE has seen poor demand even in China’s black market. Chinese scalpers who were able to charge a $300 premium above the official price of the past flagship iPhones, are struggling to get even $30 premium over the iPhone SE’s listed price.
Apple may sell 17 million iPhone SE units this year
RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani said in a research note to investors that Apple could sell up to 17 million units of iPhone SE before 2017. Daryanani added that the new 4-inch iPhone’s lower price tag might also affect Apple’s gross margins.
The iPhone SE features the A9 chipset with M9 motion coprocessor, 12-megapixel main camera with 4K video capabilities, 1.2MP FaceTime camera, Apple Pay support, and Touch ID fingerprint sensor.