Since becoming available for pre-order this past Friday, the iPhone 4S sold out in Hong Kong in just 10 minutes according to Teconderoga Securities analyst Brian White.
“In our view, this is a very positive sign for iPhone 4S demand in Greater China as Hong Kong represents the first entry of the new smartphone in the rapidly growing region, and we expect the 4S to reach Mainland China in December,” White explained in a research note.
“We believe this rapid sell out will rest concerns surrounding the uptake of the iPhone 4S in the Greater China region that were driven by the limited language capability of Siri, which did not launch in Mandarin or Cantonese.”
Clearly the allure of the iPhone 4S is great enough to warrant interest from users who won’t even be able to take advantage of Siri, one of the key selling points of Apple’s 5th generation iPhone.
AppleInsider further points out:
A strong start for the iPhone 4S in China is particularly good news for Apple, as the nation of over a billion people has become an important part of the company’s continued growth. In Apple’s September quarter, Greater China accounted for $4.5 billion in revenue, which represented 16 percent of the company’s total sales.
To put the numbers in perspective, Apple’s revenue in China was up 270 percent year over year. And in the company’s 2009 fiscal year, China represented just 2 percent of Apple’s revenue.
China of course is becoming an increasingly strategic piece in Apple’s ongoing financial success. During Apple’s most recent earnings conference call, CEO Tim Cook said that the sky is the limit for Apple in China.
Highlighting the increasing weight of China to Apple’s bottom line, Cook said that revenue from China in 2009 accounted for 2% of Apple’s total revenue. In 2011, China accounted for 12% of Apple’s revenue. And looking at the most recent quarter by itself, revenue from China accounted for 16% of Apple’s revenue.
Cook elaborated, noting that China is Apple’s fastest growing region and that revenue year over year is up an astounding 270%. Further, Cook highlighted Apple’s increased retail presence in the country. In addition to flagship Apple retail outlets in Hong Kong and Shanghai, Apple now has 200 mono-branded stores with over 7,000 points of sale for the iPhone.
About a month and a half ago, Apple opened up its first retail store in Hong Kong. The store will employ about 300 employees and foot traffic is expected to exceed an astounding 40,000 visitors daily, making it one of the busiest Apple stores in the world.