IPhone 4 Shortages in China
The iPhone 4 is proving significantly more popular in China than its predecessor. Early demand for the device has already exceeded initial supply, with China Unicom reportedly struggling to fill the more than 200,000 preorders it has received since September 17. The carrier said it sold 60,000 iPhone 4s on Saturday, the day it went on sale, and the line to purchase one at Apple’s new Beijing store reportedly numbered about 1,000.
“We are close to sell-out and there’s no timetable for the arrival of the second batch of products,” said one China Unicom store clerk.
Quite different from iPhone 3, which saw sales of a mere 5,000 during its launch weekend, and a boon for Apple (AAPL), which has targeted China as its next major geographic growth opportunity.
As COO Tim Cook said during an earnings call earlier this year, “If you look at greater China, which we define as mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, the iPhone units were up year-over-year over nine times. We added another 800 points of distribution in China. The revenue, we have never released this number before but I will do this in this particular case, through the first half of the fiscal year that we just completed, for the six month period, our revenue from greater China was almost $1.3 billion and this is up over 200 percent year-over-year. So we are well pleased with how the company is positioned to take advantage of the growth in greater China.”