When the iPhone went on sale in the worlds largest smartphone market late last week, everyone had reported about the overall lack of enthusiasm from consumers there. Unlike the iPhone 4S, which was greeted with serpentine queues in front of Apple Stores across China, the iPhone 5 witnessed a comparatively muted launch. In fact, there were reports claiming that there was just one Apple fan outside the Apple Store at Shanghai waiting for his treasured next generation iPhone.
Three days later, we’re hearing an entirely different story. The Wall Street Journal – with confirmation from Apple officials say that the iPhone 5 broke the “first weekend sales” record set by its predecessor – the iPhone 4S in China. The iPhone 5 in three days has managed to sell over 2 million units in the country - closely matching the 2.1 million sales that the iPhone 4S saw the last time.
Apple CEO Tim Cook in a statement confirmed the news and asserted that China is amongst Apple’s most important markets and that “customers there cannot wait to get their hands on Apple products”.
(Yeah right. That explains the two month delay in bringing your products there! )
All said, if the sales figures are true, this is indeed good news for Apple which according to many has been under pressure from its competitors. Samsung for example has time and again managed to flood the market with capable iPhone alternatives and have the sales numbers to back up their claim that the iPhone no longer occupies the coveted pedestal it once used to. Apple’s recent iOS 6 Maps fiasco didn’t help its cause any bit either.
Anyway, what has left us wondering is the fact that where did all these two million iPhone fly off the shelves from if there weren’t any people buying them off shelves? Pre-orders, maybe?