Apple's Cook hands out first China Mobile iPhones at launch event [ux2]

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
After years of speculation and rumors, the iPhone finally launched on the world's largest wireless carrier China Mobile on Friday, with Apple CEO Tim Cook and China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua on hand to personally pass out the first units to customers.

Update: Subsequent on-the-scene reports from CNBC's Eunice Yoon note ten customers will receive iPhones signed by China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua and Apple CEO Tim Cook. A photo from the reporter's Twitter feed is embedded below.

China Mobile
Source: Eunice Yoon via Twitter


A photo posted to Twitter on Thursday by user "Jacobi" -- spotted by AppleInsider reader Jim -- shows what appears to be a fairly crowded China Mobile outlet that has reportedly started sales of Apple's iPhone. While not much can be seen in the photo, a number of camera lenses are also in the shot, suggesting the event is being covered by local media or China Mobile's in-house PR team.

China Mobile is slated to mete out the first iPhone 5s units to an unknown number of preorder customers on Friday, local China time. The telecom has been accepting reservations for the device since late December.

In a possible indication of early demand, a recent report claimed Apple partner carrier Foxconn shipped some 1.4 million iPhone 5s units to China Mobile to cover January's orders. It is unclear if the allotment is bound for existing reservation fulfillment or projected demand.

China Mobile
Source: @Jacobi via Twitter


According to Bloomberg, China Mobile announced iPhone-specific plans earlier this week and will only be offering the handset alongside its most expensive data tier. To be eligible for a fully subsidized iPhone, customers must sign a two-year contract worth 588 yuan, or roughly $97, per month.

Analyst projections for 2014 see the China Mobile deal driving an extra 12 million iPhone sales for the full 2014 calendar year. In comparison, Apple sold a combined 9 million iPhone 5s and 5c units when when the two smartphones launched worldwide in September of 2013.

Update 2: Apple CEO Tim Cook also tweeted a picture of his appearance at China Mobile's iPhone launch event (embedded below). According to Bloomberg, Cook was asked whether Apple was working on a larger-screened version of its handset. He gave an expectedly cagey reply.

"We never talk about future things," Cook said. "We have great things we are working on but we want to keep them secret. That way you will be so much happier when you see it."

Having fun in Beijing at the iPhone launch with China Mobile! pic.twitter.com/AqoqLbbeO7

-- Tim Cook (@tim_cook)
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 56
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,065member
    They'll be collector's items I would imagine. At least these folks are more enthusiastic than Wall Street.
  • Reply 2 of 56
    Fairly crowded does not sound good. But since Cook and the press is there, it would figure to be controlled.
    Bottom line
    Cook has not made a public statement like this for 14 months. It is logical to think that he would not make the remarks without solid information of preorders. We will know in a few hours. Seems like a very important event in judging Cooks credibility.
  • Reply 3 of 56
    Originally Posted by Flabingo View Post

    Fairly crowded does not sound good. Seems like a very important event in judging Cooks credibility.

     

    Such concern.

  • Reply 4 of 56
    [SIZE=4][COLOR=blue]And thus, began the conquest of China...[/COLOR][/SIZE]
  • Reply 5 of 56
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,447member
    flabingo wrote: »
    Fairly crowded does not sound good. But since Cook and the press is there, it would figure to be controlled.
    Bottom line
    Cook has not made a public statement like this for 14 months. It is logical to think that he would not make the remarks without solid information of preorders. We will know in a few hours. Seems like a very important event in judging Cooks credibility.

    I hope you'll stay up for the outcome and let us know the instant you have a judgment locked in.
  • Reply 6 of 56
    dimmokdimmok Posts: 359member

    Warp speed engaged....

  • Reply 7 of 56
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    China is rapidly becoming a first world country. Their scientific research and manufacturing is bringing them to the forefront of world recognition. I think USA citizens, in general, think of China as a slave labor communist dictatorship but in reality there are a lot of middle class people in China. China even has many billionaires so they are starting to rival the US as a world power. Did you know that Ferrari's 4th largest market is China?  The first three are USA, UK, Germany. So it should be no surprise that China Mobile would expect a huge acceptance of Apple iPhones, at least in the cities. In the countryside, I imagine ,it is a different story, sort of like the US.

  • Reply 8 of 56
    the Chinese learned from the Russians you can't beat america but you sure can buy it
  • Reply 9 of 56
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    flabingo wrote: »
    Seems like a very important event in judging Cooks credibility.

    when has his credibility ever been in doubt?
  • Reply 10 of 56
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member
    I wish there was more info about the goings-on. (Wish some one was doing a live stream, or something)
  • Reply 11 of 56
    Amen. This is important
  • Reply 12 of 56
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    bobschlob wrote: »
    I wish there was more info about the goings-on. (Wish some one was doing a live stream, or something)
    Ted has sent out some Tweets.
  • Reply 13 of 56
    adamcadamc Posts: 547member
    flabingo wrote: »
    Amen. This is important

    Perhaps you are new.

    Anything Apple do is doomed to fail by WS and pundits.

    Only the ordinary men in the street always buck the trend by buying Apple's products in huge numbers.
  • Reply 14 of 56
    Twitter user Jahangir (@jnaina) has tweeted a lot of photos from today's launch at these links:

    http://m.flickr.com/#/photos/40174455@N00/11990457436/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/40174455@N00/sets/72157639843977186/


    Big turnout with lots of fanfare.
  • Reply 15 of 56
    Thank you I will sleep much better tonight because of your post. I will not take my sleeping pill.
  • Reply 16 of 56
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member

    deleted redundanct

  • Reply 17 of 56
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Pooch View Post





    when has his credibility ever been in doubt?

     

    Only by idiots who don't quest Google founder street cred but challenge Cook's ability to run Apple, never mind running all the back-end for manufacturing/distribution/etc., relationships for the past 16 years.

  • Reply 18 of 56
    Title:
    Customers rush China Mobile stores for iPhone launch

    Article:
    We found a picture of some Apple store on launch day that actually looks fairly packed.

    This is what's known as hard-hitting journalism.. Wait for the aha moment.
  • Reply 19 of 56
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,447member
    trnbiz wrote: »
    Twitter user Jahangir (@jnaina) has tweeted a lot of photos from today's launch at these links:

    http://m.flickr.com/#/photos/40174455@N00/11990457436/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/40174455@N00/sets/72157639843977186/


    Big turnout with lots of fanfare.

    Looks like TC had an incredibly good time.
  • Reply 20 of 56
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,056member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Flabingo View Post



    Fairly crowded does not sound good.

     

    Well, keep in mind that these are basically invitation-only events. Only 10 people who pre-registered on the website were invited to pick up iPhones (as reported by the NYT), all the others will receive them via courier.

     

    As there was no business to be made for scalpers and nobody could really buy something on the spot... "fairly crowded" does sound quite OK.

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