Company confident demand in China would be strong

Oct 24, 2018 09:23 GMT  ·  By  ·  Comment  · 
2018 Apple iPhone XR
   2018 Apple iPhone XR

Apple is confident that iPhone XR would be particularly successful in China, so the company sent more than half of the inventory to the country ahead of the sales kickoff next Friday.

Pre-orders for the iPhone XR started last week and the first units would be shipped on October 26. According to a report from Sina News, two-thirds of the entire supply heads to China, as Apple anticipates sales here to be strong thanks to the smaller price of the device.

iPhone XR, which is cheaper than the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max that launched this year, starts at $749 in the United States, However, in China it costs 6,499 yuan ($935), so it’s substantially more expensive than in Apple’s domestic market.

This doesn’t mean the device wouldn’t sell well. Apple built around 3 million iPhone XR units before it launched the pre-order program, and more than 2 million of them are expected to be sold to Chinese customers, if Apple’s estimates are right.

Slow early sales

For now, however, the Cupertino-based tech giant has little to be excited about, as pre-orders haven’t even reached the 1 million unit threshold, according to the same source. This makes some Chinese-branded phones even more successful than iPhone XR, but Apple hopes that sales would gain traction after the device becomes available in retail stores.

iPhone XR comes with an LCD screen instead of OLED and features a single camera on the back, whereas the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max both sport a dual-lens configuration.

The entire lineup supports dual-SIM and for China the devices have received further tweaks to work with two traditional SIMs instead of one SIM + eSIM as it’s the case in the rest of the markets. Dual-SIM has long been considered the main catalyst for buying an Android phone, yet it remains to be seen if iPhones can now use this upgrade to increase sales in China.

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