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Talk of the Day -- Frenzied pre-orders for iPhone 4S

2011/12/07 22:12:12

Taiwan's three major telecom carriers have all received far more than expected pre-orders for iPhone 4S, the last iconic gadget Apple Inc. has launched during its co-founder Steve Jobs' lifetime, major local newspapers reported Wednesday.

Both Taiwan Mobile Co. and Far Eastone Telecommunications Co. began to accept iPhone 4S pre-orders Dec. 1 evening, while Chunghwa Telecom Co. started accepting pre-orders the following morning.

As of Dec. 6, nearly 400,000 customers had placed orders for iPhone 4S, breaking all previous records for iPhones, according to media reports.

Industry sources said frenzied pre-orders for iPhone 4S could be seen as yet another tribute to Apple's visionary, who died in early October. Some Apple fans have joked that the new model 4S stood "for Steve."

Also on Wednesday, the Market Intelligence and Consulting Institute (MIC) under the Institute for Information Industry released a report on the high-tech sector's major development trends for 2012 that foresaw continued robust sales of tablet computers.

The MIC report also predicted that the tablet boom could erode sales of some mobile computing gadgets and that Ultrabook could be a potential savior for the PC industry.

The following are excerpts from the local media coverage of the local iPhone 4S craze and MIC's forecast on 2012 high-tech market prospects:

China Times:

The iPhone 4S will finally go on sales in Taiwan Dec. 16 and frenzied pre-orders have prompted local telecom carriers to prepare huge reserve funds to subsidize high usage customers.

As of Tuesday, the three top carriers -- Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile and Far Eastone -- had received pre-orders for 380,000 iPhone 4S.

A Chunghwa senior executive said the company had received 210,000 pre-orders, far exceeding its original projection of 150,000.

Meanwhile, Taiwan Mobile had bagged about 80,000 pre-orders while some 90,000 clients had booked with Far Eastone. (Dec. 7, 2011).

Economic Daily News:

As telecom operators in Hong Kong and Singapore launched iPhone 4S sales at midnight to add up fanfare, local carriers said they may follow suit, but added that no final decision has been made yet.

Market sources said six different models of iPhone 4S will debut in Taiwan Dec. 6.

Citing an analysis of all pre-orders, a Chunghwa official said 16G and 32G models are most popular and few customers pre-ordered 64G model. The analysis also show that white handset is more popular than black one.

The company will subsidize each iPhone 4S about NT$15,000 (US$496.69) to NT$20,000. (Dec. 7, 2011).

United Evening News:

The MIC report said the high-tech industry is entering a zone of uncertainty and an era of volatile transitions, which will also reflect the impact of a looming global economic recession.

Because of anticipated weak demand, the semiconductor industry will post a mere 4.1 percent growth in 2012, the report said, adding that the PC output, including tablets, will grow by an estimated 11.6 percent.

Tablet shipments are expected to exceed 90 million units, with Apple's iPads accounting for over 50 percent, the MIC report predicted.

Excluding tablets, PC shipments will increase by only about 3.8 percent in the coming year, the report said, adding that desktop PC output may even shrink by 2.2 percent due to disruption in component supply chain caused by recent serious flooding in Thailand.

The report also said it may become clearer in the coming year whether ultra-thin laptops, better known as Ultrabooks, can help save notebook vendors and contract makers. (Dec. 7, 2011)

(By Sofia Wu)