iPhone X sees surge in preorders

Buyers are queuing up for Apple Inc’s iPhone X with preorder sales in China beating expectations since they began on Friday afternoon, and experts said the new device will push domestic smartphone manufacturers to increase their technological level and prices.

“It took only five seconds for the first iPhone X batch to be sold out,” Pan Zhiyong, general manager of the mobile phone unit of T-mall, Alibaba’s e-commerce marketplace, said on his Sina Weibo account on Friday. T-mall has communicated with Apple Inc regarding inventory, to get ready for the upcoming Singles’ Day shopping spree on November 11, he said.

Consumers can also book an iPhone X, which marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of the original iPhone, on the websites of domestic telecommunications operators and e-commerce platforms such as JD.com. As of press time, 2,321,703 customers had placed preorders with JD.com.

“As a die-hard fan of Apple’s products, the revolutionary iPhone X is a must-buy product, given the anniversary factor and its high-tech and appealing appearance, despite the high price,” a female white-collar worker surnamed Bai told the Global Times on Sunday in an Apple store in Joy City, Beijing’s Chaoyang district.

The 64 GB version costs 8,388 yuan ($1,261.39) while the 256 GB version costs 9,688 yuan, a record high for an iPhone product.

“I booked a 256 GB iPhone X yesterday. Many people around me have also placed preorders,” Bai said.

However, some consumers are more cautious. Li, a businessman who was also browsing at the Joy City Apple store, told the Global Times that he was considering buying an iPhone X but has chosen not to for the moment, because the product is not yet in the shops and he wanted to see it first before paying such a large amount of money.

“Besides, there are so many competing smartphone models in the market. I have considered buying the newly launched Huawei Mate 10 Porsche Design… For businessmen, it’s convenient to use Huawei’s phone as it can carry two SIM cards, and there’s no need to have two phones,” Li said.

The luxury Mate 10 Porsche Design, launched by Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei in Germany on October 16, is priced at 8,999 yuan in China and will go on sale in the middle of November.

Sun Yanbiao, head of Shenzhen-based research company N1mobile, told the Global Times on Sunday that customers’ disappointment with the iPhone 8 has doubled their expectations for the iPhone X, naturally leading to the surge in preorders.

Compared with the iPhone 7, the recently launched iPhone 8 doesn’t offer any big progress, but the iPhone X is a more daring step forward in technology, with such key selling features as a full-screen OLED display, facial recognition technology and a better camera, said Liu Dingding, a Beijing-based independent Internet analyst.

The iPhone X might kick off a totally new iPhone product line aimed at the higher-end market, which is why the pricing is different from previous products, Liu noted.

Domestic brands set to catch up

Future sales of the iPhone X will gradually stabilize and the total sales will not surpass those of the iPhone 6s, Sun forecast.

The cutting-edge high-tech product will inspire domestic smartphone vendors to upgrade their technology, and at the same time raise prices to ensure profits, experts noted.

Domestic brands Huawei, Xiaomi and Vivo have also released products with full-display screens.

In face of the fierce competition between smartphone vendors both at home and abroad, “they tend to pursue personalized design in the phone’s appearance such as providing various colors and making changes to the screen, including offering an edge-to-edge display,” Sun said.

In terms of the supply chain, Sun said domestic vendors can reach Apple’s standard within three months, and he forecast that Huawei’s P11 series, reportedly set to be launched early next year, will catch up with or even surpass the iPhone X in some areas of its technology.

Source: Global Times

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