“Actually, there’s another reason why no one shows up for today’s iPhone 5 launch,” Chang reports. “Apple is not offering contract-free iPhone 5 units for sale in all retail stores in mainland China. We sent a email to Apple China asking for the availability of contract-free iPhone 5, and here’s what Apple replied, ‘Thanks for your email. As it appears now, the only way to purchase an unlocked phone will be online. Only contract iPhone 5 phones will be sold in store. We are continuously monitoring our website for any changes.’ The unsubsidized iPhone 5 starts from ¥5,288 or about $850 if you reserve one from Apple’s China site.”
Chang reports, “So, the reason why the iPhone 5 fails to draw crowds for China launch is that China Apple Stores are only offering iPhone 5 on a contract with China Telecom to walk-in customers. In the past, where thousands of people lined up outside the Beijing Apple Store and Shanghai Apple Store on iPhone 4S launch day, walk-in customers are allowed to purchase contract-free iPhones, and no online reservation is needed. Here’s the verdict. For any futures Apple product launch, we will no longer see long queues outside China Apple Stores. Never. Ever.”
Read more in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader "Dan K." for the heads up.]
iPhone 5 surpasses 300,000 reservations with China Unicom in first week – December 10, 2012
China Unicom’s iPhone 5 reservations double to 200,000 in 3 days – December 6, 2012
China Unicom racks up 100,000 iPhone 5 preorders in first day – December 4, 2012