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Trending in China: Better Late Than Never? China Reacts to New iPhone12

By Carol Yuan / Oct 14, 2020 05:45 PM / Trending Stories

What’s trending?

A month ago, #iPhone12 was one of the most trending topics on Chinese social media when Apple failed to unveil the new model phone at a scheduled event. This week the topic once again became the most trending topic, as the American company finally revealed its latest range of iPhones.

At an online-only event on Tuesday, the delayed iPhone 12 line of smartphones, which come in a range of sizes, became one of the hottest topics on Chinese social media. The phones carry new design specifications as well as 5G connectivity.

What's the story?

After pushing their release back by more than a month due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the latest iPhones mark the most significant changes in Apple’s smartphones since the release of iPhone X in 2017.

The four new devices look similar to last year’s iPhone 11, but they also take their cue from the iPhone 4 and 5 as their edges are now flat instead of curved.

The pricing strategy was also praised by some analysts as the smaller version iPhone 12 mini costs 5,499 yuan ($699). “Pricing was lower than our expectation, which is important in the current global pandemic,” according to Harsh Kumar of Piper Sandler & Co.

However, none of the new iPhones will ship with earphones or a power adapter. Apple said it is an attempt to reduce the phones’ carbon footprint to benefit the environment. But the devices will contain a USB-C to Lightning cable in the box and will support faster wireless charging.

What are people saying online?

Despite the praise from industry insiders, the new iPhones’ price was not a major talking point among most Chinese netizens. Many were even talking about China’s coming “Double 11” – a colossal shopping event on e-commerce platforms in China – to see if they would be able to pick up the phones even more cheaply.

Most netizens also complained about Apple removing earbuds and power adapters; they questioned whether the move is really for environmental reasons or is just a means of saving money for the company. “It’s better to launch two kinds of packages, one with adapter and earphones, and one without, then make the prices differ.” One popular comment suggested.

Contact editor Marcus Ryder (

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