Sat, Sep 22, 2012 - Page 13 News List

OS upgrade will not affect sales of iPhone 5: carriers

TWO DIFFERENT ISSUES:Previous operating system upgrades did not have an impact of sales of new iPhone models, domestic telecoms operators said

Staff writer, with CNA

A customer holds her iPhone 5 order card before entering Apple’s Covent Garden store during the first day of sales for the smartphone in London yesterday.

Photo: Bloomberg

Apple Inc’s operating system upgrade for old iPhone users will not affect purchases of the iPhone 5 when it hits stores in Taiwan, local telecoms operators said on Thursday.

Apple opened free downloads of its iOS 6 worldwide on Wednesday, allowing current iPhone and iPad users to upgrade through their devices directly or via iTunes software on computers.

On Internet forums in Taiwan, a number of iPhone users raved about the 200-plus new features of iOS 6, but there were also complaints, including about the new Maps app, with some saying they got lost because it did not give accurate directions.

COMING IN NOVEMBER

Although Taiwanese consumers are rushing to upgrade their iPhones, the top three local carriers said they were not worried that the iOS upgrade would have a substantial impact on the sales of the iPhone 5, which is expected to be released locally in November.

“Apple has been offering system upgrades for years. It’s not news for Apple product users,” said Hu Hsueh-hai (胡學海), a marketing managing director at Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), the country’s largest mobile provider.

“The iOS 6 upgrade and sales of the iPhone 5 should be viewed as independent issues, and we don’t think the upgrade will delay buying of the new iPhone,” he said in a telephone interview.

Josephine Juan (阮淑祥), a spokeswoman for Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大), the country’s No. 2 carrier, said she did not see any delayed purchases of the iPhone 4S last year when Apple opened upgrades to iOS 5.

Sales of the iPhone 4S were going well at that time and Taiwan Mobile was unaffected by the iOS 5 upgrade, Juan said, adding that smartphone buyers usually took both form factors and software features into account.

Alison Kao (高治華), a spokeswoman for Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信), the nation’s third-biggest mobile service provider, said consumers were unlikely to delay buying new phones simply because they could upgrade the operating system on old models.

ATTRACTIVE DESIGN

If two phone models with similar functions are offered to Taiwanese consumers, they will usually choose to buy the one with a more attractive body design, Kao said.

Apple’s iPhone 5, unveiled in the US on Sept. 12 with iOS 6, is taller, thinner, lighter and faster than the previous iPhone 4S.

The iPhone 5 went on sale in nine countries yesterday. It will be available in 20 other countries on Friday next week and will reach 100 countries by the end of the year, in the company’s fastest product rollout ever.

According to Apple, pre-orders for the iPhone 5 topped 2 million in the first 24 hours, more than double the previous record of 1 million held by the iPhone 4S.

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