The iPhone won’t officially launch on China Mobile until January 17, but the world’s largest mobile carrier has already begun accepting preorders for the iPhone 5s and 5c.
In terms of numbers, analysts Wedge Partners place the preorder figure at around 100,000 for the first two days of availability.
While this is certainly a sizable figure, it is worth noting that it is less than the number of preorders racked up by smaller carriers China Unicom (120,000) and China Telecom (150,000) when they took preorders for the devices back in September — as well as a tiny fraction of the overall 763 million customer base of China Mobile.
Before people start panicking however (something certain individuals are inclined to do when it comes to Apple’s dealings with China Mobile) it is worth noting two things.
First of all, these are early figures based on a single estimate. Secondly, the iPhone 5s and 5c are two months old now — while China Mobile isn’t offering any substantial savings to set it apart from its rivals.
According to Wedge Partners, China Mobile’s iPhone subsidies are similar to China Telecom’s and slightly higher than China Unicom’s.
One thing’s for sure: Apple’s continued expansion in Asia is going to be one of the big stories to follow in 2014.