iPhone 11 Greatly Exceeds Pre-Sale Expectations in China

REUTERS/Stephen Lam

While Apple’s new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max will not be available in stores until September 20, online pre-sales for the new handset have exceeded expectations by a landslide. Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com reports that the pre-sale volume increased by 480% compared to last year, despite the phone’s lack of 5G compatibility.

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Tmall, Alibaba-owned retail brand, said that pre-sales just one minute after the iPhone’s launch on their platform topped 100 million yuan. Additionally, Guo Mingwei, an analyst at Tianfeng International Securities well-known for covering Apple-related news, released a report detailing impressive first-week pre-sale volume.

Three new iPhones released at the launch event in California (Source: Apple)

JD.com said that after the pre-sale opened at 8pm on September 13, the iPhone 11 Pro sold out in just five minutes. The most popular items included the iPhone 11 Pro in dark green, iPhone 11 in black, and iPhone 11 in purple. Guo Mingwei pointed out that the new colors released by Apple, dark green and purple, generated stronger demand among Chinese consumers. The new colors will take longer to reach customers, with an estimated delivery time of two to three weeks compared to 10 days for other colors.

iPhone 11 Pro with triple camera (Source: Apple)

According to IDC research released in August, in the second quarter of 2019, China’s smartphone market shipped about 97.9 million units. Huawei led the ranks with 36.3 million units shipped and a market share of 37%, while Apple languished in fifth with shipments of 6.6 million units and a market share of 6.7%.

According to Apple’s third quarter results, revenue generated from iPhone sales were 48% of total revenues. Reuters reports that this is the first time in seven years that revenue from iPhone sales is less than half of the company’s total revenue. Whether the company’s new flagship device will boost iPhone sales in the quarters to come remains to be seen.