While previous device launches in the country have provoked near riots, the launch of the iPhone 5 in China this past week solicited not much more than a whimper.
When Apple’s flagship store opened on Friday employees who had expected raucous crowds were greeted by a lineup of two people, so reports the Wall Street Journal.
As the weather outside was frightful, this lineup of two may not be an accurate gauge of the interest Chinese consumers have in the brand. When the iPad mini launched in China weeks ago, the scene outside many stores was complete chaos and bedlam — reminiscent of the launch of the iPhone 4 and the apparent cultural favourite the white iPhone 4s.
Wall Street has taken interest to the reception the world’s biggest country has given the launch of the iPhone 5.
Citigroup downgraded APPL to a “neutral” before trading began on Monday on concerns about continued demand for the iPhone 5.
“Near-term supply chain order cuts, while inconclusive in nature, bring into question the strength of iPhone 5 and refocus investors onto risks in the Apple story,” Citi analyst Glen Yeung wrote in a note to clients. “We suspect competition is improving, diminishing the hype around the iPhone 5.”
“[The] leading indicators of Apple’s competitive advantage in smartphones [are] diminishing.”