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China Mobile's iPhone Preorders Aren't As High As You'd Expect

The impending launch of Apple’s iPhone with China Mobile had been hailed as something of a jackpot prize for the Cupertino, Calif. company, yet a couple of days in preorders for the smartphone aren’t as high as you’d expect.

China Mobile has taken around 100,000 preorders for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, according to Wedge Partners’ analyst Brian Blair. This figure is indeed smaller than the initial number of preorders for the new handsets with rival carriers China Unicom and China Telecom, back in September 2013 when both first launched in the country.

After a couple of days of availability, in September China Unicom had secured 120,000 preorders for the new iPhones, while China Telecom had amassed 150,000. Given that China Mobile has more than 760 million subscribers on its books (compared with China Unicom and China Telecom’s combined total of some 450 million), this is curious. Though, as AllThingsD explains, it’s not entirely unprecedented.

The publication notes: “One thing to keep in mind: It’s still early and this is only a single estimate. Another: The 5s and 5c are two months old now, and China Mobile isn’t doing much to differentiate them on its network.” China Mobile’s iPhone subsidies are said to be “similar to China Telecom’s and slightly higher than China Unicom’s.”

Brian Blair indeed told AllThingsD:

What’s important to remember is these phones launched in September. Now here we are several months later and there’s no subsidy being offered that’s so special that the preorders are off the charts. If this had been in September when the phone launched globally, I think the numbers would be a lot higher.

Of course, preorders aside, we’ll get a far better idea of how the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c are going to sell with the carrier once they actually launch with China Mobile. This is scheduled to occur on Jan. 17, and based on recent analysis as many as 38.7 million iPhone handsets could be sold by the carrier in 2014 alone.

We’ll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.

In the meantime, see: Marvel Unlimited Gets iOS 7 Design Refresh And More In Newly Issued Update, Day 7 Of Apple’s 12 Days Of Gifts Offers Ubisoft’s Rayman Jungle Run For Free, and Sequel To Roguelike Dungeon Crawler Dungelot Set For Release In January.

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