Taiwan, a major maker of Apple iPhone components, launched the iPhone 4 at midnight last night, three months after the popular device was launched in the US and several other countries.
However, a majority of the more than 200,000 people who have placed pre-orders for the phones will be disappointed, as the nation’s three major telecom operators can only offer 45,000 to 60,000 of the devices, local media reported.
Apple rolls out its iPhone models in different countries at different stages of its global launch plan.
Far EasTone Telecommunications Co, Taiwan Mobile Co and Chunghwa Telecom Co were all scheduled to hold a series of activities later today to promote the phone’s launch in the country.
The telecom operators did not provide a clear timetable for when the next batch of iPhone 4s would be imported to satisfy those unable to get their hands on the hot product immediately, although there was speculation that the next shipment would arrive later this month.
An estimated 300,000 of the previous iPhone incarnations — iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS — were sold in Taiwan, making a solid contribution to the telecom carriers’ revenues in the second quarter of this year.
Apple is also giving away free cases to iPhone 4 buyers to counteract a problematic antenna design that affects reception but has not affected sales in other countries.
Another widely anticipated Apple device, the iPad tablet computer, is expected to enter Taiwan next month at the earliest.