The Chinese Are Swarming To Reserve The Gold iPhone 5s

applestoreopeningchina

Although you can’t preorder an iPhone 5s here in the States, Apple opted to allow people to reserve the iPhone 5s in China in order to better handle the frenzy of the coming launch day. Less than 24 hours later, everything but the 16GB Space Gray iPhone 5s sold out, and the gold model sold quickest of all.

Just two hours after the 5s reservation system went live, the handset sold out at the Sanlitun, Xidan Joy City, and Wangfujing Apple Stores, according to Sina Tech.

Why is Apple handing out iPhone 5s reservations in China specifically? It’s to reduce scalping. Scalping is such a huge issue that even Genius Bar reservations are booked in bulk by dealers and sold at a premium on the black market. Since Apple wasn’t offering preorders, Cupertino created the kind of limited demand scenario favored by scalpers, who can simply pay people to stand in line as long as it takes to buy up every last iPhone, then resell them at a higher rate on the streets later.

Apple’s reservation system requires that every person reserving an iPhone have a unique Apple ID, government ID, and smartphone number. It looks designed so as to be hard to game. Hopefully that will keep the scalping under control.

As for the popularity of the gold iPhone 5s, consider me surprised. Many people have said that the gold iPhone 5s would be a popular model in China, but I didn’t believe them, because other data suggests that gold isn’t as popular in Asia as people claim with consumer goods. It appears I was wrong.

The iPhone 5c, though? Although open to the same reservation system as the iPhone 5s, it is not doing well in China so far, and no wonder. The Chinese have not been shy so far pointing out how disappointed they are with Apple’s newer, cheaper handset.

  • Steffen Jobbs

    China certainly doesn’t seem like a country where consumers all hate Apple products or consider them too expensive to buy. Maybe there are plenty of people who can’t afford Apple products and buy non-Apple products instead. There’s nothing wrong with that. There are plenty of places in the world where consumers can’t afford to buy every costly product available. I just don’t see why Wall Street is hating on Apple for that reason. The analysts are just predicting the future before it happens and they can easily be wrong as to whether Chinese consumers will buy iPhones in quantity. It will merely take some time to find that out. Certainly more than just a few days.

  • ekim1406

    “Less than 24 hours later, everything but the 16GB space gray iPhone 5S is left… and the gold model sold out quickest of all.”

    You might want to go over this sentence again…

  • B066Y

    Am I the only person that feels like the iPhones physical design has went downhill since the introduction of the iPhone 5? I like the bigger screen on the iPhone 5 and up but I really dislike the two-tone color schemes.

  • Ianthetechman

    I suppose someone has to like them, But i am not a fan at all of the gold one. I think it looks very tacky.

  • HerbalEd

    I suppose someone has to like them, But i am not a fan at all of the gold one. I think it looks very tacky.

    So have you actually seen one?

  • HerbalEd

    China certainly doesn’t seem like a country where consumers all hate Apple products or consider them too expensive to buy. Maybe there are plenty of people who can’t afford Apple products and buy non-Apple products instead. There’s nothing wrong with that. There are plenty of places in the world where consumers can’t afford to buy every costly product available. I just don’t see why Wall Street is hating on Apple for that reason. The analysts are just predicting the future before it happens and they can easily be wrong as to whether Chinese consumers will buy iPhones in quantity. It will merely take some time to find that out. Certainly more than just a few days.

    Wall Street is just continuing an old tradition … i.e., constantly predicting Apple’s doom and constantly being wrong.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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