SABC News - Apples iPhone 5 starts strong in China but shares pressured:Monday 17 December 2012

Apple's iPhone 5 starts strong in China but shares pressured

Monday 17 December 2012 06:16

REUTERS

A total of 2 million iPhones were sold by the third day of the phone's launch

A total of 2 million iPhones were sold by the third day of the phone's launch(REUTERS)

Apple Inc said it sold more than 2 million of its new iPhone 5 in China during the three days after its launch there, on Friday, marking China's best-selling iPhone rollout ever.

 

But the highly anticipated release in China, Apple's second-biggest market, has not eased worries about stiffer competition in smartphones that are driving a slide in the share price of the world's most valuable technology company.

 

Apple shares fell 3.8%, on Friday to $509.79 after the iPhone 5's China debut, while Citi Research downgraded Apple's stock late yesterday, to "neutral" from "buy" and lowered Apple's price target to $575 from $675, citing diminishing hype around the iPhone 5 and improving competition in smartphones.

 

Apple's latest iPhone made its global debut with a launch in the United States and 30 other countries in September, selling more than 5 million in its first three days on the market.

 

"Customer response to iPhone 5 in China has been incredible, setting a new record with the best first weekend sales ever in China," Apple Chief Executive, Tim Cook said in a statement.

 

This is the first time Apple has announced China sales numbers for the iPhone.


Analysts say Apple's longer-term outlook in the China market, however, may hinge on expanding its partners in that country to include China Mobile Ltd, the country's top telecoms carrier. 

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