Chinese users are actually quite unhappy with Apple’s latest announcement in regards of the launch of iPhone 5 in China, as the iPhone 5 will turn out to be the most expensive model out of all the previous generations. Many netizens found it unreasonable to pay for the iPhone 5, since Apple is just making it taller than its predecessor. They criticized Apple’s increase of price is outpacing their product innovation, but they’re still expecting to see someone to sell their kidney for the iPhone 5. Will the price hike deter Chinese consumers from buying the device?
Previous iPhone launches have attracted wide consumer interest in China, drawing long lines at Apple stores in Beijing and Shanghai. But in the past two quarters, the long wait caused Apple’s smartphone market share to halve to 10% as users switch brands or hold out for the latest model, causing the company to drop out of the country’s top five smartphone vendors. But this may also implies there’s some level of pent-up demand for the iPhone 5.
This is a poll that created on Sina Weibo after the iPhone 5 was announced. The poll has 3,315 votes, and the result shows 42% of them are hesitating, 26% saying they won’t buy it, while 22.5% said they will buy it and 9.6% will go for the cheaper iPhone 4S.
iPhone 5/iPad Mini Official Price
The Wi-Fi versions of iPad mini and fourth generation iPad will be available in China on December 7, and iPhone 5 will be available on December 14. The lag between the iPhone 5′s U.S. and China release dates was due to the wait for final regulatory approval from China’s regulatory offices, as well as the need to cater to demand in the U.S. market in order to ensure there’s sufficient stock to cover the Chinese market.
The official price for the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini in China will be available at:
16GB: RMB 5,288 (US$853)
32GB: RMB 6,088 (US$982)
64GB: RMB 6,888 (US$1,111)
16GB: RMB 2,498 (US$401)
32GB: RMB 3,288 (US$530)
64GB: RMB 4,088 (US$659)
iPhone 5 will have the most expensive price tag among other countries. Comparing with the US pricing, the iPhone 5 official price in China is $206 higher than in United State. Moreover, the iPhone 5 is 200-300 yuan (US$32-48) higher than the iPhone 4S was first launched in China at the start of this year.
When iPhone 5 launches in China, the device will be available through the Apple Online Store, select Apple Authorized Resellers and by reservation from Apple retail stores.
In addition, there’s a good news for Hong Kong Apple fans. Hong Kong Apple Online store has stopped using the stupid lottery system to sell its iPhone 5, customers don’t have to test their luck to buy the device anymore. However, it’s disappointed that it still doesn’t mean you can walk into an Apple Stores to purchase an iPhone 5 in Hong Kong. This is obviously a move to curb the Hong Kong’s grey market.
iPhone 5 in the Grey Market
Apple has sold iPhone 5s, the new iPad Minis and Retina iPads in Hong Kong since launch, but it wasn’t as exciting as the iPhone 4S launch. Even though, Hong Kong grey market resellers have been reselling the iPhone 5 more than two months. The grey market price reached the peak at HKD$8,800 (US$1,135) in September and the price has kept falling until now. It’s expecting to settle to less than 5,000 yuan (US$802) after the phone officially hits the Chinese market.
The grey market price of iPhone 5 in China is:
16GB: RMB 5,180 (US$835)
32GB: RMB 5,700 (US$919)
64GB: RMB 7,050 (US$1,137)
This shows there were huge demands of iPhone 5 in China previously and the market is gradually filling up.
iPhone 5 Pre-order in China
The statement made no mention of Chinese carrier partners, but it’s already known that China Unicom and China Telecom will offer their iPhone 5 with contract plans on the same day. The two Chinese carriers have already began accepting pre-orders, and the outcome was brilliant. Probably because the launch of the iPhone 5 has cater many existing iPhone 4 users’ two-year contracts who will be expiring shortly, which means many of them are likely to upgrade.
China Unicom announced that it received orders for more than 100,000 iPhone 5s on its first day of pre-sales. The carrier didn’t charge money for the reservations, but requiring an ID card and other personal information to reserve orders. As we reported previously, there are multiple plans offer by China Unicom. The 16GB version iPhone 5 is available for free if you signed a three year contract with 286 yuan (USD$46) per month with China Unicom, or the carrier also offers the device with a contract price at 5880 yuan (USD$948).
With China Telecom, it had received pre-orders for more than 5,000 units. But the fact is China Telecom local branches have been taking reservations for the device for weeks, even before the official release date had been announced. Although China Telecom has yet to provide contract plan for the iPhone 5, it’s expected to be the same as last year iPhone 4S contract plan, which offers a three-year contract to consumers to get a free iPhone 5 by paying a minimum of 289 yuan (US$46) per month.
As with China Mobile, it still has yet to receive the iPhone. Market watchers see a deal with China Mobile as Apple’s biggest prize, as the carrier has more than 700 million subscribers, with 75.6 million of those on its high-speed 3G network.
Scalpers, SWAT and loyal Apple fans are definitely expected to show up on the day of launch, but we probably might not see as many customers and scalpers as previous iPhone launch, since the iPhone 5 has not much difference in look and it’s much more expensive, and it’s also because the grey market has been selling the devices for over two months already, the market has partially filled up. The grey market retail price is already cheaper than the official’s offering, and that might lead some scalpers stop scrambling the iPhone 5 on the launch day. Other queuers that it’s likely to see on that da could be China Unicom and China Telecom’s subscribers who are looking for upgrade from iPhone 4 to iPhone 5.
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