In China, Apple’s 5G iPhone 12 sparks fever-pitch, but divided reaction

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Apple’s iPhone 12 launch drew mixed responses in mainland China on Wednesday, with fans cheering a 5G version for their favourite brand while others planned to wait for upcoming devices from local competitions including Huawei.

The much-anticipated Apple launching comes in the aftermath of Chinese Android-platform brands like Huawei and Xiaomi Corp having already rolled out higher-end 5G apparatus compatible with China’s updated telecoms networks, with the US giant noticed by some analysts to be late to the party.

In its second-largest market by revenue, Apple’s statement has been feverishly discussed on interpersonal networking. With more than 6 billion viewpoints, the label’iPhone12′ rated as the no. 1 subject on China’s Twitter-like Weibo.

Asked if they’d purchase the new iPhone, which will give Apple consumers 5G access in a marketplace where such networks are already widespread, respondents to a Caijing magazine survey were nearly evenly split: some 10,000 voted no, 9,269 stated yes, and only over 5,400 said they were considering it.

Accessible for orders from China from Oct. 16, the iPhone 12 will price 5,499 yuan (approximately $815.37) to get a ‘mini’ version, increasing to up to 11,899 yuan for the cover of the range.

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That price tag was also a popular topic, with many complaining that it was too expensive. ,” said one commenter, speaking to Apple’s announcement that it might leave out those components citing environmental reasons.

Many Weibo users stated they might put off purchasing iPhone 12s to wait for the expected unveiling of Huawei’s rival Mate 40 Pro this season.

Still, analysts said that they had been bullish about the iPhone 12’s reception in China, stating that the company still probably had many loyal users who have postponed upgrading devices until the launch of the 5G-friendly iPhone 12.

With the newest model in perspective, research vendor Canalys recently revised its forecast for iPhone imports to China in fourth-quarter 2020 to a 14% year-on-year increase, a major swing in the 1% decrease it originally predicted.

“In China now, 5G is not a premium feature, it’s a must-have feature,” said Nicole Peng, who monitors China’s smartphone industry in Canalys. Peng said the 5G launching will “trigger a new wave of phone replacements” to Apple in China prior to the end of the year also at first-quarter 2021.

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Canalys expects 50 percent of Chinese telephone owners to use a 5G device by the end of 2020, as networks and telephone brands have sharply pushed adoption. Only 29% of US telephone owners will be on 5G devices by the same time.

Apple could also stand to benefit from a potential unravelling of its primary high-end rival Huawei, which could see its smartphone branch collapse next year due to US. restrictions on its supply of processors.

Neil Shah, analyst at Counterpoint Research, said he hopes Apple stands to benefit “significantly” from the potential gap that is left due to the US trade restrictions on Huawei to produce brand new phones at scale.

On the flipside, there’s lingering concern that Apple could be vulnerable to growing geopolitical tensions between the United States and China.

Beijing is expected to unveil an ‘entity list’ that pubs domestic companies from doing business with certain foreign firms amid sector speculation that Apple and other high-tech technology companies could be targeted.

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Through the last year however, consumer sentiment has yet to become negative on Apple, even as Huawei’s troubles have made headlines in China.

Apple’s unit prices in China increased 35% year-on-year in China in the next quarter of 2020, according to Canalys. That made it the sole top manufacturer apart from Huawei to see positive growth – a feat it achieved even without providing a 5G apparatus.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Josh Horwitz and Brenda Goh. Additional reporting by Shanghai Newsroom.

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