Apart from the complicated sales process, chinese media and internet users also cited the comparatively high price and unconvincing improvements in design and function as reasons why enthusiasm is low. However, mobile operator china unicom reported that some 300,000 preorders had been placed.
In the difficult chinese smartphone market, apple slipped from fourth to sixth place in the third quarter and is looking to catch up again with the iphone 5. The official launch in china, apple’s second-largest market, came barely three months after the iphone 5’s U.S. Launch. In the rough apple store in the popular peking sanlitun village, however, only a few customers inspected the new iphone in the morning. After the chaos at the sales launch of the iphone 4S, grids had been set up. A dozen police officers, numerous security guards and store clerks were prepared for a stampede, but it didn’t happen.
In order to curb the black market, only two iphones could be ordered per person on the internet since the previous day. "We have no other choice," said one seller. "There was too much chaos at the launch of the iphone 4."Referring to the pushers who sell the iphone 5 with extra charge in front of the door, the apple employee said: "they are the reason. Otherwise we would just sell it over the counter."Another vendor explained the low number of visitors also by the snow cover that had covered peking during the night.
Internet users, however, were upset that the iphone 5 is a good 20 percent more expensive in china than in the U.S. And costs more than ten percent more than in hong kong. "We are not blod" or "very unpleasant," were the comments. The former google china chief li kaifu wrote in his microblog about the high price: "apple is not very honest. "The smallest model will be sold in china for 5288 yuan, the equivalent of 650 euros – at the current exchange rate even slightly cheaper than in germany.
"Actually, i wanted to buy the new iphone," said 31-year-old zhang li. "But i don’t like the design. It is hateful." They were also "not impressed" by the new functions. She also continues to find the slightly coarser screen of the iphone 5 too small for the input of characters. "I’d rather buy a samsung smartphone," said the secretary. Samsung has the largest market share in china, followed by chinese brands lenovo, coolpad, ZTE, huawei and finally apple.
On the chinese black market, devices smuggled into the country were available weeks ago at a premium of 1000 to 1500 yuan (120-180 euro). However, with the start of sales, the surcharges fell significantly to 100 to 200 yuan, in case someone did not want to wait for the online purchase procedure. "Business is bad," said a black marketeer outside the apple store, who immediately offered discounts to get into the business.
Apart from china unicom, this time china telecom is also offering the new iphone with contracts. Their stores were open from midnight. According to chinese media reports, around 200 customers lined up in front of a china telecom store in shanghai. Both companies, however, hold less than half of the mobile phone market. Apple could not reach an agreement with the rough operator china mobile.
"The iphone 5 continues to be the star of smartphones," said the telecom expert fu liang, the "china business daily". "But basically, the sale of the iphone 5 will not be able to repeat the incredible success of the 4ara. The iphone 4 was an epiphany, but time passes and smartphones have spread all over the world."Experts also see little customer loyalty in china. Less than eleven months after the launch of the iphone 4 in china, the relaunch cycle is also simply too short, he says. Besides, it was said: "the iphone 5 is not such a novelty."