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Taiwanese distributor sees number of new iPhones booked rise 50%

2019/09/16 20:26:55

From Apple Inc.'s website

Taipei, Sept. 16 (CNA) Data Express, one of the Taiwanese authorized resellers of Apple Inc., said Monday that the number of new iPhones booked during reservations launched by the distributor rose about 50 percent over the same period of last year, when the U.S. consumer electronics giant unveiled the predecessor models.

Brain Chao (趙憶南), general manager of Data Express, said the company kicked off a reservation campaign Sept. 11 and since then, the number of the latest-model iPhones reserved have risen more than 50 percent as Apple put up the three models for sale simultaneously to boost buying.

On Sept. 10, Apple unveiled the new iPhones -- two high-end models, the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max -- along with the cheaper iPhone 11, to replace the previous models of the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR launched in September 2018.

Apple will kick off global sales of the new iPhones Sept. 20. Taiwan is one of the markets to be included in the first round of global sales.

The 5.8-inch Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) iPhone 11 Pro, featuring Apple's new triple camera lenses, carries a starting price of NT$35,900 (US$1,158), while the 6.5-inch OLED iPhone 11 Pro Max model will sell at a base price of NT$39,900, according to the Apple Taiwan website.

The more affordable 6.1-inch LCD iPhone 11 will start at NT$24,900, NT$2,000 cheaper than its predecessor, the iPhone XR.

The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max will be offered in midnight green, silver, space gray and gold, while the iPhone 11 will be available in purple, yellow, green, black, white and red.

Chao said the relatively affordable iPhone 11 accounted for 40 percent of the new iPhones booked through reservations, while the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone Pro Max made up 30 percent, respectively.

The reservation results echoed an earlier market estimate made last week that the cheaper iPhone 11 will represent more than 50 percent of the total supply, as Apple has changed its marketing strategy by making more efforts to promote sales of the cheaper model this year to stimulate buying interest.

Among the reserved iPhone 11s, Chao said, the purple version accounted for 30 percent, white 20 percent, black 19 percent, green 16 percent, red 8 percent and yellow 7 percent.

Chao added the midnight green version in the iPhone 11 Pro series was most popular, accounting for 40 percent of those reserved, followed by space gray with 24 percent, gold at 21 percent and silver at 15 percent.

To appeal to consumers, Chao said, Data Express has teamed up with fashion designers to launch co-branded accessories for the new devices.

According to distributors, although the new iPhones do not support 5G technology, the pricing strategy, with prices of the iPhone 11 series and even the previous models marked down, is expected to help the U.S consumer electronics giant fend off rising competition from brands in the Android camp, which have unveiled many models for 5G use.

Meanwhile, Asia Pacific Telecom Co., a local telecom operator, has launched a pre-order sale campaign for the new iPhones, in which a total of 30 subscribers are expected to get a free iPhone 11 when they agree to pay a monthly fee of NT$999 for 30 months.

Asia Pacific Telecom said that since the campaign was announced Sept. 12, a lot of consumers have been lining up for a free iPhone 11. One man, surnamed Yeh (葉), was the first in the line in front of its store in the Syntrend Creative Park, downtown Taipei, for 120 hours after Apple unveiled the new iPhones Sept. 10 in California.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has called the iPhone 11 Pro models "the most powerful and most advanced iPhones we have ever built, with a stunning design."

(By Jeffrey Wu and Frances Huang)
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