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Robust pre-order demand for new iPhone

By Ma Si | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-31 07:04

Apple Senior Vice-President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, introduces the iPhone X during a launch event in Cupertino, California, US, September 12, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

The impending arrival of Apple Inc's iPhone X is being greeted with growing enthusiasm among consumers in China, who are rushing to preorder the company's most expensive and advanced smartphone.

The positive user reaction came as a new report showed that the US tech giant's smartphone shipments to China grew by 40 percent in the third quarter, bringing an end to six consecutive quarters of decline in the country.

Apple's flagship store on Tmall, an e-commerce website of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, said sales of iPhone X on Friday afternoon exceeded the first-day sales of iPhone 7 series within 50 minutes of it becoming available for pre-ordering.

The popularity of the iPhone X, which will hit store shelves on Friday, is also evidenced in the prices being quoted by scalpers. Due to strong demand, some traders on Taobao, another online shopping website of Alibaba, are charging about 19,700 yuan ($2,962) for the iPhone X, which ought to retail for 9,688 yuan in China.

On Fenqile.com, an online platform where consumers can buy iPhone X by installments, about 14,600 consumers have pre-ordered the device as of Monday,

Apple said customer demand for iPhone X "is off the charts".

"We're working hard to get this revolutionary new product into the hands of every customer who wants one, as quickly as possible," the company said.

The phenomenal pre-order demand for the iPhone X also sent the shares of Chinese mainland smartphone component makers up on Monday, even though some of them are not directly related to Apple's business.

Shares of Hong Kong-listed Tongda Group, a consumer electronic casing maker, surged at one point by 6.22 percent to HK$2.22 (28 cents) on Monday.

Research company Canalys said in its latest report on Monday that Apple's decline in China has come to an end, as shipments grew 40 percent from 8 million in the third quarter of 2016 to around 11 million this quarter.

This makes it Apple's best performance in the world's largest smartphone market in the last eight quarters, when its growth has slowed considerably since the launch of the iPhone 6S.

Jia Mo, an analyst at Canalys, said: "The high sell-in caters to the pent-up demand of iPhone upgraders in the absence of the iPhone X. Price cuts on earlier models after announcing the iPhone 8 have also helped."

Zhu Wenqian contributed to the story.

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