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What Tepid Reception? JD.com Notches Turbocharged iPhone 11 Preorders

By Matthew Walsh / Sep 16, 2019 02:41 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Reports that Apple’s latest iPhones are meeting with lukewarm response in Asia may be premature, at least if activity on China’s No. 2 e-commerce platform JD.com is any indicator.

More than 1 million iPhone 11 handsets have been reserved on JD.com since preorders began on Friday, according to a Saturday post on the Chinese online retailer’s official Weibo social media account. It said such preorders at that time represented a 480% surge from iPhone presales as of this point last year.

The most popular models include the iPhone 11 Pro in “midnight green,” as well as the black and purple editions of the standard iPhone 11, the company said. The first order was placed within one second of the acceptance of orders, and stocks of the Pro were completely snapped up within five minutes.

According to JD.com, younger people placed the vast majority of orders for the phones, which will officially become available on Friday. Around 59% of preorder customers were between 16 and 29 years old, while people in their thirties accounted for nearly a third of the total.

The much-anticipated smartphone, which features design tweaks, a brand-new camera array, and a faster processor, retails on Apple’s authorized JD.com page from 5,499 yuan ($778) for a standard iPhone 11, up to a wallet-busting 12,699 yuan for a top-of-the-line iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Although that’s cheaper than last year’s iPhone XR, Chinese consumers must still shell out a premium of between 10.5% and 12.5% for the iPhone 11 compared with U.S. prices, and between 18.6% and 23% for the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, according to an analysis by CNBC.

Unlike new smartphone models from domestic competitors Huawei and Xiaomi, the new iPhone also lacks 5G capabilities at a time when China is accelerating the rollout of the potentially revolutionary technology.

Contact reporter Matthew Walsh (matthewwalsh@caixin.com)

Related: Chinese Netizens Cheer as Apple Compares Itself With Huawei for the First Time

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