iPhone 5 launch in China is quiet ... very quiet

News Stacy Warden 09:15, Dec 14 2012

Here are a few reasons why Apple's iPhone 5 Beijing launch was so bleak

Apple's iPhone 5 launched in Beijing for the first time on Friday and the turnout was sparse. It was so desolate, in fact, that The Wall Street Journal called it "arguably the least eventful launch of an Apple device in the company's four-year history in the Chinese capital." Ouch. 

During past iPhone launches in China, locals not only welcomed Apple's smartphone with open arms, they nearly caused riots. But that was far from the scene this time. Apple's Beijing turnout was so bleak that when doors first opened at 8 a.m., only two customers were waiting.

To be fair, it was snowing, so that probably didn't help. Still, one has to imagine that die-hard Apple fans would brave the fiercest of storms, if only to later boast of their victory tales to other mobile-geeks. 

It wasn't just the weather, though. Apple now has several nearby locations outside of its flagship Beijing store. On top of that, customers are now required to apply online ahead of time before they can actually purchase a new iPhone (along with other select Apple products). Once those applications are processed, customers are then given a specific time frame to pick up their phones. That sounds like a lot of fun, yeah? Then again, getting trampled on by a herd of determined fanboys isn't exactly a party.

Bottom line here is we can't be certain exactly what caused Apple's iPhone 5 China launch to have such a disturbingly desolate outcome. Most likely it was the weather, the additional store locations, and the bizarre application process combined. Oh, and let's not forget that plenty of folks already opted for cheaper Android phones while Apple was making them wait. 


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