Apple sells 2 million iPhone 5s in China during opening weekend

By on December 17, 2012, 11:30 AM

Apple’s flagship iPhone 5 first became available to buyers in mid September albeit only in select regions. The phone just made its debut in China late last week and according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, locals purchased 2 million devices during opening weekend. That’s good news for Cupertino as the iPhone traditionally hasn’t had a strong following in the country.

It’s a new record for Apple in China which was led by thousands of online reservations for the handset even before it was available for pick-up. The phone is reportedly available through two different wireless providers: China Telecom and China Unicom. The country’s largest carrier, China Mobile, has yet to start carrying the phone.

China has been on Apple’s radar for some time now as it’s their second biggest market behind the US. The region accounted for roughly 15 percent, or $23.8 billion, of Apple’s revenue for the fiscal year that ended this past September.

Even with 2 million phones moved over the weekend, sales didn’t come close to touching US figures. Apple managed to sell 5 million iPhone 5 handsets when they first launched in the US on September 21. Cupertino’s previous best opening weekend came last year when US consumers purchased 4 million iPhone 4S units.

It is believed that Apple will now move around 47.5 million iPhones this quarter which is a bit higher than earlier estimates of 45 million. The forecast for early next year, however, is down to just 46 million. It is believed that strong sales in China caused the quarterly shift.

Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 5 in more than 100 additional countries by the end of the year, making it the fastest iPhone rollout to date.

User Comments: 5

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Littleczr Littleczr said:

Its scary to think of the potential buying power China has.

1 person liked this | bielius bielius said:

You scared me at "iPhone 5s".

Lurker101 said:

How does it compare to the sales of the Goophone though?

Tygerstrike said:

I can see where China would sell that many Iphones. All Iphones are pretty much "idiotproof". That and given that Apple is really a forign product, ofcourse China will buy lots of them. Yes its made in China, but its a American company. Seems like many nations on the other side of the Atlantic have USA envy. They want the products from America and they normally dont care how much it costs. So it makes a sick form of sense. Personally I see Apple starting its fall from cyber grace. There has been no new innovation from Apple in quite a few years. Siri being its biggest draw. Pretty much the same phones with the same OS all just packaged differently to draw more cash out of the Apple sheep.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Tyger, you mean the Pacific ocean . Yes, Japan and China think America is cool, and Americans think Europeans are cool. Also remember that China has far more people than the US... I'm too lazy to figure out the per capita sales, but it may not be significant. We also need some number to compare this too... for all I know the iPhone 5 may be the best selling phone ever in China, or it might be a distant 2nd to cheap freebies that common people can afford.

I also wonder how many more people bought phones they thought were iPhone 5s.

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