iPhone 5 sales top 2m units in China during opening weekend

Following last week’s iPhone 5 release in China, new figures have revealed that opening weekend iPhone 5 sales have topped two million units within the country.

Apple’s most successful product launch to date in China, the iPhone 5 went on sale in the country last Friday, with the December 14 China iPhone 5 release coming almost three months after the handset originally touched down in the UK and US.

“Customer response to iPhone 5 in China has been incredible, setting a new record with the best first weekend sales ever in China,” Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO said. “China is a very important market for us and customers there cannot wait to get their hands on Apple products.”

A key market for all retailers, third quarter figures saw China become the world’s number one smartphone market in terms of handset units, with the iPhone 5 launch weekend sales almost equalling the entire 2.1 million unit sales Q3 performance of the iPhone 4S within the country.

Despite strong opening weekend sales, Apple is facing sliding market shares in China. With the company’s control over the Chinese smartphone sector down a reported 4.2 per cent, consumers are said to be turning their attentions to the recent onslaught of Android powered handsets.

A relatively low key launch by recent standards, Friday’s China iPhone 5 release date avoided the confrontations seen during the Chinese iPhone 4S launch earlier in the year where fights broke out as consumers fought to get their hands on limited stocks. Apple CEO Tim Cook later said the iPad mini and iPod touch maker had underestimated demand.

“Apple realized that punch-ups in long queues outside their stores did not go down well, even if any news is good news,” Matthew Crabbe, director of consulting firm Access Asia Ltd told the WSJ. “But they are still facing strong challenges from the likes of Samsung, and so they need to be careful to keep the buzz at a high in order to beat back that competition.”

Apple iPhone 5 Specs
Featuring the same set of innards in China as it does here in the UK, the iPhone 5 specs sheet sees a high-end collection of components wrapped within a svelte and stunningly styled shell.

The first Apple handset to sport a 4-inch Retina display, the iPhone 5 has made the jump from Apple’s former 3.5-inch form factor, adding a 1136 x 640p resolution and 326ppi image density into the mix. Sporting a zippy A6 processor and with an 8-megapixel rear-mounted iSight camera thrown into the mix, the iPhone 5 also features a second snapper up front and the latest iOS 6 operating system.

Measuring in at just 7.6mm thick and a mere 112g in weight the iPhone 5, which comes boxed with a pair of Apple’s new EarPod headphones, completes its impressive features list with an eight hour talk-time battery life.

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