Apple’s iPhone 8 and iPone 8 Plus finally hit the Chinese market last Friday. Bucking the trend, Chinese population could not care less about the launch.
Usually, the release of iPhone drew frenzied crowds, with some who would go all out to sell their kidneys for the sleek gadgets. This time round, only four people were seen lining outside the Apple store.
At Apple’s West Lake location in Hangzhou, a contingent of 30 to 40 security guards reportedly arrived at 6 a.m. on Friday morning (22 September) to set up a maze of barricades to fully prepare themselves for a huge crowds expected.
However, at 8 a.m., when the doors did at last open, there were only two people spotted in line.
By 8:43 a.m., the guards were instructed to take down the fencing they had set up.
In other Apple Store locations in China on Friday, employees reportedly outnumbered customers on the same day.
In Hong Kong, similar observations had been made by South China Morning Post, stating that there were short queues on Friday morning.
According to statistics, this has been the sixth consecutive sliding sale of Apple in China, causing a dent on Apple’s revenue. Before the iPhone 8 launch, there were concerns that the phone’s high price would ward off many Chinese shoppers.
In fact, this year, the company has slipped all the way down to fifth in China’s smartphone market rank, behind Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi.
Weibo users have speculated that Chinese are probably waiting for the iPhone X – a more expensive, with all-screen and face ID as added features – to arrive in November. Others assume that there has been a growing preference in China for online shopping of iPhone instead. Lastly, it is also undeniable that cheaper replacement of iPhone is available right in China, such as Huawei and Oppo, which are mainland China mobile brands.