Chinese buyers shrug off lack of 5G as orders for Apple’s iPhone 11 surge
Sep 16, 2019
Advance orders for Apple’s new iPhone 11 series soared over the weekend after pre-orders kicked off on Friday, data from e-commerce sites Tmall and JD.com showed.
Why it matters: The absence of 5G compatibility did little to damp the appeal of Apple’s newest handset to Chinese consumers.
- Chinese internet users have been critical of Apple for its lack of a 5G device since the California-based electronics maker presented the iPhone 11 series on September 10.
- China’s three major carriers were granted commercial licenses for the next-generation wireless technology in June, but there has been no publicized launch date for 5G network services.
- A United States export ban on Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei, which is also a major 5G gear supplier for Chinese carriers, may delay their 5G network rollouts.
Details: Day one pre-sales for the iPhone 11 series—which include the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max—on Chinese e-commerce site Tmall surged 335% compared with those for the iPhone XR models launched a year ago, according to Chinese media outlet Yicai.
- Sales for the new devices on the site reached RMB 100 million (around $14.1 million) in less than a minute, according to Tmall.
- The day one pre-sales for the iPhone 11 series also jumped 480% on JD.com, another Chinese e-commerce site, said the report.
- Pricing for the iPhone 11 series starts at RMB 5,499, cheaper than the launch price for the XR models by RMB 1,000.
Context: Apple’s rivals in China such as Huawei, Xiaomi, and ZTE have already launched their 5G smartphones for the country’s early adopters.
- Huawei and Xiaomi both have one 5G smartphone model on sale in the Chinese market, and Huawei plans to launch another 5G device in the country this year.
- ZTE was first to the market with the early August launch of China’s first 5G smartphone.
- Greater China, which includes mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, will account for 34.0% of global 5G smartphone shipments in 2023, according to research firm Canalys.