iPhone 5 hits 300,000 reservations in China; most are male, want 16 GB model

Men made the majority of the reservations, and most want the 16GB model

Demand for the iPhone 5 in China has reached more than 300,000 online reservations with mobile carrier China Unicom, as Apple prepares to starting selling the device there on Friday.

China Unicom received the 300,000 requests in the first week after it began accepting online reservations, it said on its official microblog on the Sina Weibo service. It also provided a breakdown of where the iPhone reservations are coming from in the country. The top place of origin is Beijing, followed by two of China's largest provinces Guangdong and Shandong, and then the city of Shanghai.

74 percent of the reservations are coming from males, while only 26 percent are from females. China Unicom speculates the reason is because some men are buying the handset to give to their girlfriends.

52 percent of the reservations are from those aged 20 to 30 years old. Another 34 percent are from those aged 30 to 40 years. In addition, the vast majority of the reservations, at 85 percent, want the 16 GB model.

China Unicom is one of two mobile carriers in the country that will be selling the device, and has about 232 million mobile subscribers. Previously, the carrier has struggled to meet demand for Apple's iPhone launches in the country.

During the iPhone 4 launch in 2010, the carrier had to abruptly stop online reservations for the device after receiving 200,000 pre-orders. Problems with online sales also occurred this January with the iPhone 4S launch when a surge in web traffic on China Unicom's ordering site prevented many users from buying the product.

Analysts expect demand for the iPhone 5 in China will likely be high, and could even outperform sales of Apple's previous iPhone models. A slowdown in iPhone 4S shipments in the second and third quarter suggests many consumers in China are waiting for the iPhone 5.

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Michael Kan

IDG News Service
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