Apple Inc. started selling two new iPhone models in the Chinese mainland on Friday, the first time the market has been included in the company’s maiden launch list, however the costumers showed less passion than before.
The retail price of the iPhone 5C in China is 4,488 yuan (728 U.S. dollars), while the iPhone 5S costs 5,288 yuan, and both the prices are much higher than their peers in markets outside the Chinese mainland.
At 07:00 there were only 20 to 30 customers waiting outside an Apple retail store at Nanjing East Road, Shanghai, and the number of security guards and sales assistants were many much than the waiting Apple fans.
The sales assistants, standing in a row, cheered and applauded to the first batch of iPhone 5S or 5C consumers .
Things seemed better in business halls for China Unicom and China Telecom, that hundreds of people could be seen waiting outside in a Telecom business hall in Guangzhou.
It is because the operators offered promotions, like two-year contracts or free cell phones with advanced phone charges.
“There are over 3,000 phones booked today in Guangzhou City, and the number is around 30,000 in Guangdong Province,” said a staff of Guangzhou Telecom Business Hall.
In China, Apple is already losing market share. Apple’s share of China’s smartphone market fell by nearly half, from 9.1 percent to 4.8 percent, over the past year, according to research firm Canalys.
Now, Apple faces increasing competition, including Samsung Electronics, Lenovo and Huawei Technologies selling a full range of Android handsets including lower-end models.
Newcomers such as China’s Xiaomi offer smartphones that run Google Inc.’s Android system for as little as 799 yuan. Some of the nation’s best-selling smart phones are much cheaper than the iPhone 5C, according to computerworld.com.
In the U.S., Apple’s iPhone 5C starts at 549 dollars when bought without a contract. Apple has said its products are typically priced higher in China due to currency valuation and government taxes.
Whether Apple could find new customers or just cater to the ones it already has is yet to be seem.
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