Buyers from China, deprived of the latest iPhone launch at home, were yesterday among the first in line in Japan to grab the “6” and its new large-screen cousin as Apple Inc hit back at rivals.
Licensing problems in China meant the global rollout went ahead without the huge and lucrative market, in a blow to Apple, which had trumpeted its inclusion in the initial wave of the last iPhone launch.
Outside Tokyo’s flagship Apple store in glitzy Ginza, dozens of Chinese were among those waiting.
“I’m queueing because it’s not sold in China yet,” said Chen Manyan, a 21-year-old tourist from China’s Fujian Province, adding: “It’s expensive, though.”
Zou Zhiyang, 29, a Chinese student studying in Tokyo, said he intended to buy the maximum two handsets allowed.
“I’ll buy one for myself, and another to sell to one of my friends in China,” he said.
On the eve of the launch, Beijing said Apple had won two necessary approvals, one to certify the phone for the Chinese market and another for wireless devices.
“But iPhone 6 still needs to obtain a key network access license before it can enter the Chinese mainland market,” Xinhua news agency said.
The delay has created a lucrative secondary market, especially in Hong Kong, where dealers pay more than the retail price expecting to get even more in turn from mainland buyers.
“If we are talking about the 128-gigabyte version, we would buy it for as much as HK$18,000 [US$2,322],” said Gary Yiu, the manager of the iGeneration reseller store.
That is more than double the price of the top-of-the-range iPhone 6 Plus.
“I have around 200 preorders, with 60 to 70 percent of these from mainland Chinese customers,” Yiu said, adding that he had dispatched 10 staff members to buy as many as possible.
Yiu said the golden version of the 128GB iPhone 6 Plus was the most sought after, and he could resell it for more than HK$20,000.
Dozens of resellers outside Hong Kong’s Apple stores handed over thick wads of cash to people selling their handsets.
The booming reseller market “means Apple products are still in high demand in China... Their products are still highly accepted there,” Hong Kong-based market analyst Jackson Wong (黃志陽) said.
Apple says more than 4 million preorders were received in the 24 hours after the sale was announced.
Both new iPhones have larger screens in what some consider Apple catching up with the “phablet” trend pioneered by competitors. Main rival Samsung Electronics Co has long had a range of larger handsets, which are popular in Asia, and will soon release a new Galaxy Note 4 phablet.
Other markets launching the Apple device yesterday were Singapore, Britain, France, Germany, the US, Canada and Puerto Rico. About 20 more countries, including Taiwan, are to get the new iPhone from Friday.
NOTABLE SHIFT: By 2030, 50% of all laptops would be assembled in Southeast Asia, while Taiwan would still mostly focus on research and development, a report said Global laptop and desktop computer supply chains are expected to shift significantly away from China in the next 10 years, a Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所) report said. By 2030, only 40 percent of global laptop production would remain in China, said the report, which was released on Thursday. “The reshuffling of the global supply chain will be one of the most important trends in the next 10 years,” the institute said in the report. “In the long run, key component makers will follow laptop assemblers in moving out of China.” The Taipei-based institute predicted most key component makers
Merck Group Taiwan yesterday said that it plans to invest substantially on expanding its fab in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) to better serve its local customers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電). The company said it plans to expand its production space by 50 percent in the next five years and its workforce by about 40 percent, Merck Group Taiwan managing director Dick Hsieh (謝志宏) told a media briefing in Taipei. Hsieh declined to disclose investment details, but said that the latest investment would exceed the total amount Merck has invested in Taiwan over the past few years. Those investments would be
Yageo Corp (國巨), the world’s third-largest supplier of multilayer ceramic capacitors, has formed a strategic alliance with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) to develop key electronic components for electric vehicles and digital healthcare, it said yesterday. The alliance is to help Yageo boost its revenue from high-end components for vehicles and industrial, medical and aerospace devices, as well as those used in 5G and Internet-of-Things devices, the company said. The companies signed the strategic alliance agreement at Yageo’s headquarters in New Taipei City’s Sindian District (新店). Their cooperation is to start this quarter, the companies said in a joint statement. “Through the cooperation
SUPPLY CONSTRAINTS: The transferred orders might not provide an immediate revenue boost given local chipmakers’ high utilization rates, a senior analyst said Shares of local contract chipmakers yesterday rose as much as the 10 percent daily limit, as investors bet on orders being transferred from Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際) after the US imposed export restrictions on the Chinese chipmaker. United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) shares soared 10 percent to close at NT$27.5 as 380 million shares changed hands on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. UMC is the world’s No. 3 foundry by revenue, followed by SMIC, according to data from market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技). UMC has product and customer portfolios similar to those of SMIC, TrendForce said, adding that UMC offers 14-nanometer and