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Gold, white iPhone 5s reservations sold out in Beijing, Hong Kong [U]

updated 12:50 am EDT, Tue September 17, 2013

16GB 'Space Gray' models still available, 5c also available for pre-order

[Update: Hong Kong sold out as well, white model now also sold out] In China, Apple has once again instituted a structured "reservation" system for the iPhone that is aimed at preventing scalpers and resellers from buying up all the available quantities of retail iPhones-- the incidence of which resulted in some violent incidents two years ago when the iPhone 4S went on sale. Sina Tech now reports that the gold color option for the full-price, unlocked iPhone 5s -- which many said was tailored for the Chinese market, Apple's second largest -- has sold out in all three stores in Beijing. The two other color options for the iPhone 5s are still available.

The report of a sellout of unlocked gold iPhones, which will formally debut on September 20 alongside the iPhone 5c, is only for the capital city in China. All three Beijing stores say their first-day stock was entirely spoken for just two hours after reservations went live. Other Chinese cities, such as Shanghai, are expected to follow suit if they haven't sold out already. The news suggests that Apple was prescient in creating and emphasizing the new gold color option for the iPhone 5s, the higher-priced of the two new iPhones.

Both the iPhone 5c and 5s became available for reservations on Tuesday morning (local time). In light of Apple's positioning and marketing of the iPhone 5c, the fact that the company hasn't yet revealed pre-order numbers for the more colorful model could indicate that the company is planning to withhold figures until both models are available for retail, and release only "blended" sales figures as it does with the iPad line. China Unicom, the country's second-largest carrier (and third-largest in world by subscriber base) previously announced that it has already received more than 100,000 reservations for both the iPhone models.

Buyers who have reserved an iPhone receive a "booking code" by calling a special number, which they can then enter into the reservation system. Once accepted, the buyer can choose a configuration and must then appear at the Apple Store at a pre-designated time to provide valid ID and complete the purchase.

Investors and pundits who were concerned that Apple has not yet provided iPhone 5c preorder numbers will likely be cheered by the strong interest shown in the new iPhones by the Chinese, which alongside new DoCoMo buyers in Japan and a possible forthcoming deal with China's top carrier China Mobile could allow Apple to sell an additional 35 million iPhones over and above the number of iPhone 5 units sold over the last year.

Update: Hong Kong is also reporting a sellout on all versions of both the white and gold iPhone 5s, and the Beijing stores now report a similar situation, with only the basic 16GB "Space Gray" still available. These reports reflect only the availability of full-price, unlocked iPhone 5s units -- not contract iPhones.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. iphonerulez

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-28-08

    Wall Street seemed to be pretty sure that all iPhone sales would be rather poor in China due to the iPhone's higher prices when compared to all non-Apple smartphones.

  1. chas_m

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 08-04-01

    I doubt Apple's in a position to seriously challenge Samsung's dominance of the Chinese smartphone market just yet, but this is clearly a move in the right direction. The iPhone 5s is definitely too pricey for most Chinese, but the country has a very large number (by US standards) of middle-class and wealthy people as well.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Apple is offering the iPhone 4 (not 4S) in China for a price that opens it to the mass market.

    Expect Apple's share to jump sharply.

  1. shifuimam

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: 08-15-06

    What price is the 4 being offered at in China?

  1. Gazoobee

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 02-27-09

    Shouldn't you be calling the "white" iPhone 5s, the "silver" iPhone? It's not only the official name, it makes sense if all the high end iPhones are going to be referred to by metal colour now and at least two of them have the same colour glass inserts.

    iPhone 5 came in "white" and "black," iPhone 5s comes in "gold" "silver" and "space grey."

  1. abbaZaba

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 06-14-06

    Originally Posted by GazoobeeView Post

    Shouldn't you be calling the "white" iPhone 5s, the "silver" iPhone? It's not only the official name, it makes sense if all the high end iPhones are going to be referred to by metal colour now and at least two of them have the same colour glass inserts.

    iPhone 5 came in "white" and "black," iPhone 5s comes in "gold" "silver" and "space grey."



    ooooooohhh somebody call the burn ward

  1. mgpalma

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-27-00

    Wouldn't a 'reservation' be similar in function to a pre-order? If so, why don't we in the US get to pre-order but others do?

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    You can preorder the 5c (apparently).

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by shifuimamView Post

    What price is the 4 being offered at in China?



    Just over $400.

    iPhone 4 remains widely available in China after iPhone 5s, 5c debut

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