Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
Attendees use new iPhone X during a presentation for the media in Beijing, China,

SHANGHAI/BEIJING: Gu Xiaomeng, a 24-year-old primary school teacher in the eastern Chinese city of Suzhou, says she’s excited about the new iPhone X, set to go on sale Friday. The challenge for Apple Inc is to persuade her to actually buy one.

“I’m definitely interested, but don’t currently plan to get one,” said Gu, whose monthly salary of a little over 6,000 yuan ($905.36) is less than the anniversary model’s starting price in China of 8,388 yuan.


For Apple, which is looking to rev up sales in China after several quarters of declining revenue there, the test is that Gu is not alone. While interest in the phone is high, that won’t necessarily translate into sales.

“Price appears to be a major constraint on iPhone X demand, particularly in China,” Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi said in a recent report that showed three-quarters of Chinese respondents were excited by the upcoming launch, but only a quarter said they planned to buy one.

Investors are keen to gauge Chinese demand for the iPhone X, as it is key to reviving Apple’s fortunes in the world’s biggest smartphone market where it has lost some of its sparkle — and market share — as local phone makers have advanced.

The cheaper iPhone 8, which hit the market in September, has faced sluggish sales, but Apple has said that pre-orders for the iPhone X have been “off the charts.”

Apple, due to announce quarterly earnings Thursday, said it had no immediate comment.

Chatter online on popular Chinese social media platform Weibo also signaled high levels of interest in the new model, though still generally behind levels around the 2014 launch of the very successful iPhone 6.

Apple “geeks”

Xiao Ming, 32, who works for a blockchain start-up in Beijing, stayed up half the night when pre-sales of the iPhone X opened last week. He has also bought the iPhone 8.

“I always try to be one of the first to buy any new iPhone,” he said, adding he likes the new phone’s augmented reality and facial recognition features. “I’ll be very disappointed if I don’t get one on the first day.”

While he plans to buy the new phone, he noted many of his friends were less fussed. “Before, I think a lot of people would try to get it somehow, now it’s mostly the geeks,” he said.

“My friends don’t mind so much if they have an iPhone 8 or a 6, for example, because it looks similar and the price [of the iPhone X] makes you feel nervous.”

Re-sellers and iPhone accessory makers generally agreed there was a buzz about the iPhone X, Apple’s first phone to have a full-screen display and functions such as facial recognition security.

“People are really anticipating this phone because it’s the 10th anniversary version and it has more changes and modifications,” said Gary Yiu, manager of the iGeneration smartphone shop at one Hong Kong mall.


An attendee uses a new iPhone X during a presentation for the media in Beijing, China.

Yiu and three other phone re-sellers there said they had seen strong demand for the phone from mainland clients.

A merchant at the Huaqiangbei electronics hub in Shenzhen, who was offering an iPhone look-a-like called the “E-Feng X” from 1,599 yuan, said sales volumes were “very good.”

Some Chinese re-sellers, however, said they already canceled pre-orders for the iPhone X, concerned there wouldn’t be enough of a supply bottleneck to allow them to charge a steep premium — despite some worries about long waits.

“I saw many friends were posting pictures of themselves successfully ordering the iPhone X, so I canceled mine,” said Tony Tong, 29, a product manager at a tech firm in Beijing, who said he had ordered four phones in the hope of re-selling them for a profit. “The environment is bad for scalpers.”

Apple will hope payment plans and easy access to online credit in China will persuade people to buy.

Wang Hao, a 24-year-old engineer in the northeastern port city of Dalian, said he ordered the new phone despite the high price tag. His last phone was an iPhone 6S.

“The cost is about a month’s salary for me,” he told Reuters. “But I’m just used to it now, and there wasn’t really anything to make me choose another brand.” (VOA)


Popular

Wikimedia Commons

Amitabh Bachchan, during his speech to the crowd of over 80,000 people at the Reliance Industries' annual event, said that the legacy left by Dhirubhai has had a positive impact on millions of people's lives worldwide.

Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. Not only do fans love Amitabh Bachchan's outstanding performance, but the actor's heartwarming words are also highly regarded. A much moved Amitabh Bachchan, during his speech to the crowd of over 80,000 people at the Reliance Industries' annual event, said that the legacy left by Dhirubhai has had a positive impact on millions of people's lives worldwide.

When Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan became bankrupt in the late 1990s, Dhirubhai Ambani stepped forward to give him financial assistance. In his speech, Bachchan remembered that Dhirubhai had sent Anil Ambani to offer him financial assistance during the crisis, which he had respectfully declined. Lenders began knocking on his door, losses mounted, and his bank account dwindled to nothing. He said, "Dhirubhai's money might have gotten me out of the problem quickly. However, I respectfully declined his offer and gradually began to find work again, which let me pay off my debt."

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Xavier Mouton Photographie on Unsplash

Irrespective of the age of your child, it is vital for parents to offer that extra support and assistance following an unsettling event.

In comparison to adults, children are prone to getting traumatized by troubling events easily, and this makes it important for parents to help their children when the times are tough. It could be a brutal accident, an unprecedented pandemic, a violent crime, or other disasters but with the right parental support, children have a higher chance of coming out stronger from an awful situation.

Anuja Kapur, Psychologist shares few tips wherein you can assist your child when tough times comes calling:

Every child responds differently to disturbing events:
What children feel about a current disaster in their life and how they react to it can come and go in waves. Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. There's no absolute "right" or "wrong" way to feel after a traumatic event so make sure not to dictate what your child or how your child should feel and react to the event.

a boy crying tears for his loss Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. | Photo by Kat J on Unsplash

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Andreas Haslinger on Unsplash

European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics - an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union (EU), has announced plans for smartphone and other electronics manufacturers to fit a common USB-C charging port on their devices in an effort to reduce waste. In addition to phones, the rules will apply to other devices like tablets, headphones, portable speakers, videogame consoles, and cameras, reports The Verge. The decision will have a huge impact on Apple, as the company still uses its own Lightning connector to charge iPhones. The proposals only cover devices using wired, not wireless and a USB-C port is only mandatory for devices that charge using a cable.

Different charging cables "Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices | Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

Keep reading... Show less