Apple delays high-end iPhone 15 models in China in sign of strong orders

Apple delays high-end iPhone 15 models in China in sign of strong orders

The iPhone 15 Pro is presented during the ‘Wonderlust’ event at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, U.S. September 12, 2023. REUTERS/Loren Elliott Acquire Licensing Rights

Sept 15 (Reuters) – Buyers of Apple’s new iPhone 15 Pro Max in China will need to wait for 4-5 weeks before receiving the smartphone, the company’s website showed on Friday as it started taking pre-orders in an early sign of strong demand.

The wait is slightly shorter for iPhone 15 Pro at 2-3 weeks, while the company said it could deliver iPhone 15 by Sept. 22, the day the phone goes on sale in stores.

For the iPhone 15 Plus, the wait in China is 8 working days.

Meanwhile, more than 3.4 million reservations were placed on in total for the four models in the run-up to the e-commerce platform opening orders on Friday evening.

Ivan Lam, senior analyst at Counterpoint, said it was reasonable to expect such volumes on, one of Apple’s biggest sale channels in China.

“Since the decline of Huawei, the iPhone has been able to attract a massive number of consumers in the more than $600 segment. The new iPhone 15 series, especially the Pro series, will be a good choice for the installed base who are using iPhone 11/12 and looking for an update replacement,” he said.

“However, there’s no doubt that the new Mate 60 series will be a challenge to the iPhone this year.”

How the iPhone 15 series will fare in China, its third largest market, is being closely watched after former rival Huawei Technologies (HWT.UL) launched a new smartphone with an advanced chip late last month.

Huawei’s Mate 60 series could mark a comeback for the Chinese tech firm, which was once the world’s biggest smartphone maker before its business was decimated by U.S. export controls, analysts said.

State media reported this week that better-than-expected sales had prompted Huawei to raise its second-half shipment target for its Mate 60 series smartphone by 20% and its forecast for overall new smartphone shipments in 2023 to at least 40 million units.

Huawei’s Mate 60 launch was unusual in that Huawei did not carry out any pre-marketing or organise a glitzy event. The company is set to hold an event on Sept. 25, where it is expected to discuss its new smartphone.

Reporting by Brenda Goh in Shanghai and Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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Brenda Goh is Reuters’ Shanghai bureau chief and oversees coverage of corporates in China. Brenda joined Reuters as a trainee in London in 2010 and has reported stories from over a dozen countries.
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