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iPhone 4S sales resume online in China with shipments by March 2

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Apple's newest handset returns to the company's Chinese online store following a brief stoppage of sales due to overwhelming demand that led to scalpers and violence, though wait times for orders can range from overnight to weeks.

A report from China Daily on Friday confirms that the iPhone 4S can now be purchased through the online Apple Store in mainland China, bringing an end to the nearly month long moratorium on sales that was instituted almost immediately following the smartphone's Chinese launch.

Apple's Chinese online store has been taking orders since Wednesday, though customers may not be receiving the actual device for some time as current estimates are quoting a ship date of "February."

"If you pay today, you might get the items tomorrow, and no later than March 2," said an Apple sales representative.

In re-opening online orders, Apple has instituted strict sales policies that dissuade scalpers from using bots to gobble up online inventory to be sold on the grey market at inflated prices.


Apple renews online sales of the iPhone 4S. | Source: Apple Store


A lottery system was recently introduced in Hong Kong, where lower taxes and limited supply led to a flood of scalpers who repeatedly clashed with customers and each other for a chance to buy the device. The price for a 16 GB iPhone 4S in Hong Kong is HK$5,088 ($660), more than $100 cheaper than the 4,988 yuan ($790) mainland China customers pay for the same handset.

iPhone buyers in Hong Kong must place their online order with a valid government-issued ID between 9am and 12pm, and those who are randomly selected will receive an email by 9pm with instructions on picking up the device at a specific time the following day. Customers not selected are forced to repeat the procedure on a different day.

Apple's new rules limit purchases to two devices per person and it remains to be seen whether the newly instituted rules will reduce the number of units sold through unofficial channels, however some stores are seeing a change.

"Since we began accepting online orders yesterday, not as many people have been hawking iPhones nearby as before," said an employee at the Apple Store in Xidan, Beijing.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 6
AAPL should reach $500 within 6 months thanks to China, if not higher.
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
Reply
post #3 of 6
This is one step to solving the problem. Next would be to release 4s all withing a short time frame of each other in all territories. Apple just needs to work out a how to supply xx units in this demanding market with little shortage.
... Or just make a ifail iPhone and the problem is solved
post #4 of 6
I am currently living in China and can attest to the fact that there is still a significant shortfall of iPhone 4S availability. You are still unable to order one online in Hong Kong, and trying to find one on the mainland is very difficult unless you are willing to buy gray market phones. Although the potential here is huge for Apple across all product lines, there are still some underlying challenges for Apple to move the brand from being a fashion statement, to consumer understanding of why Apple products are superior to competitors. Two examples of this:

1. There are millions of iPhones on the China Mobile network but that network does not use the same 3G high speed technology, so the iPhone only works at a much slower speed, so consumers can't take full advantage of the device except when on a wifi network.

2. For Apple computers, many, if not most consumers, run Windows XP on them and don't even know how to boot them to OS X thus they are not taking advantage of the benefits of the clearly superior Apple OS. This problem is exasperated by the fact that key websites don't work with Macs running OS X including online banking and the main e-commerce websites like TaoBao.

Apple needs to work aggressively to educate this market on it's products' key benefits, and needs to engage key players like banks and commerce sites to support transactions on the Mac OS. Especially since most Chinese are still on very old versions of IE in tandem with XP which don't support HTML 5 thus hindering it's implementation here.
post #5 of 6
Hold on to what you have in the developed world, because the "Asian Century"... Is going to be messy.

I am disgraced by what happens in Malaysia, Hong Kong and China, as mentioned, in the case of some ethnic Chinese in these areas and the way they conduct themselves and business.
post #6 of 6
I know this sounds racist, and I'm playing the "I can use the N word because I'm black" card... But, I'll just go ahead and say I can say the following because I'm Asian.

Apple doesn't need to do anything agressive.

Apple needs to kick it old school like in the British Colonial Empire days in Malaya, India, Australia, whatever.

I have a simple analogy. In Malaysia, it is a hot and humid 30degC (90degF) all year round. It was the British that built hillside resorts where it's a nicer 25degC year round and sometimes 20degC at night, most locals at the time preferred the coastal areas if things got really hot, with the water and the seabreeze.

The British were a**holes in numerous cases, but they brought railroads, education, a sense of order, engineering, architecture, modern financial and parliamentary systems and a lot of other things to Malaya. Sure, the Malay sultanates and previous Dutch and Portugese visitors/invaders also influenced what happened but if you look at the generation that grew up in the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s in Malaya/Malaysia/Singapore/Brunei Malaysia has produced a significant contribution to the world. However in the 90's and particularly the last 00's, with the British Colonial influence long past and those who grew up under it brain-drained to other countries, Malaysia is now barely above Thailand and Indonesia, far behind Singapore in many respects. South Korea, China and Taiwan was not regarded very highly by Malaysians in the 70's. Now we are getting our a** handed to us by them.

My point is Apple is a colonial influence in China. Meaning, they are coming in with education, engineering, technology and a whole bunch of stuffs that the "natives" aren't going to "get". I'm not saying the Chinese race is doomed or inferior, the best of that part of my heritage, I actually see in Western countries, those born in Western countries or who moved to the developed world when they are very young. They are smart, talented, brilliant, sociable, have good manners and a sense of civility. Compared to recent Chinese immigrants in the developed world and young ethnic Chinese in South East Asia, it's far, far different.

As you mention, China mainland can't really grasp what's going with Apple. Everyone is simply rushing to get it because it means you're a "somebody" (whatever that is) and everyone else is rushing to supply it to the people that want it, by hook or by crook.

It's... primitive, dare I say.

I think Apple is on the right track. Just like the British in Malaya that built mansions, courts, government buildings and hotels, which are now still some of the best 20th-century architecture in Malaya, Apple needs to establish their *Castle*. And from that fortress survey the landscape. Even Apple Retail I think has been too egalitarian in China, it may disturb you to hear this but I think they need an even more premier presence in retail in China.

The UK has long faded behind the scenes but up to WW2 to the 70's there was a sense, to me anyway, that they brought something new to the table and real tangible, worthshile advancement. Sure, their colonial arrogance pissed a lot of people off and they screwed up various things...

But that is what I think Apple should do in China. Educate, yes. Aggressively? No need. That way they stay premier and, not elitist, but, exclusive enough.

The grey market alone is undefeatable. Of course Apple should increase supply to China but not at the expense of quality, human rights, working conditions, support quality, innovation and so on.

Tim Cook and Steve always knew they could drop-ship 100 million iPhones into China tomorrow and it would be gone within weeks (it would only take that long because of the rioting, looting and fires).

Everyone is pointing to China as "the model" for economic growth and so on. But at what cost?

For me that is a personal question.

But in relation to Apple, that's an important question for Apple as well.

At what cost, Apple? At what cost?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

I am currently living in China and can attest to the fact that there is still a significant shortfall of iPhone 4S availability. You are still unable to order one online in Hong Kong, and trying to find one on the mainland is very difficult unless you are willing to buy gray market phones. Although the potential here is huge for Apple across all product lines, there are still some underlying challenges for Apple to move the brand from being a fashion statement, to consumer understanding of why Apple products are superior to competitors. Two examples of this:

1. There are millions of iPhones on the China Mobile network but that network does not use the same 3G high speed technology, so the iPhone only works at a much slower speed, so consumers can't take full advantage of the device except when on a wifi network.

2. For Apple computers, many, if not most consumers, run Windows XP on them and don't even know how to boot them to OS X thus they are not taking advantage of the benefits of the clearly superior Apple OS. This problem is exasperated by the fact that key websites don't work with Macs running OS X including online banking and the main e-commerce websites like TaoBao.

Apple needs to work aggressively to educate this market on it's products' key benefits, and needs to engage key players like banks and commerce sites to support transactions on the Mac OS. Especially since most Chinese are still on very old versions of IE in tandem with XP which don't support HTML 5 thus hindering it's implementation here.
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