Apple Reports Record Sales in China

on Dec 17, 2012

Record sales from China might provide a much needed boost for Apple’s stock price (NASDAQ:AAPL), which has fallen by more than 25 percent in the past three months.

**iPhone 5 Debut in China**
Apple’s flagship device recorded more than 2 million sales in China during the first three days after its launch on Friday. “Customer response to iPhone 5 in China has been incredible, setting a new record with the best first weekend sales ever in China,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, in a statement. The iPhone 5 was available online and at Apple’s retail stores, with carriers China Telecom and China Unicom also selling the device. China Mobile, the country’s biggest mobile operator with almost 700 million subscribers and 65 percent market share, doesn’t yet support the iPhone 5 but most industry experts expect a deal to be struck by late 2013.

China Unicom reported it has received 300,000 online reservations for the iPhone earlier in December with Beijing along with Shandong and Guangdong provinces leading demand. Shanghai trailed behind and Apple’s stores in the metropolis saw no queues when they opened on Friday. The Financial Times quoted analysts from Stifel Nicolaus who expect 49 million iPhone shipments globally in the fourth quarter. Apple has promised that by the end of this year the iPhone 5 will be available in more than 100 countries – the fastest rollout achieved by the American company so far.

**Apple Allows Google Maps Back on the iPhone**
!m[The iPhone Maker Caves in and Allows Google Maps Back on Board](/uploads/story/1039/thumbs/pic1_inline.png)Last week Bloomberg reported that Apple has caved to a user backlash over its faulty Maps service and has agreed to let Google Maps back onto the iPhone and iPad devices. “It’s embarrassing for Apple to reuse Google’s map application as it suggests Apple failed to meet market expectations,” said Hwang Min-Seong, an analyst at Samsung Securities Co, as quoted by Bloomberg. “This shows how much harder Apple had to push itself to come up with great innovations, only for it to end up as a big mistake.”

Google’s mapping application climbed to the top spot on Apple’s App Store last week – a clear sign how much users were dissatisfied with the iPhone makers’ attempts to pressure them into using its software.
**Apple’s Stock**
On Friday analysts at UBS lowered their price target for Apple’s share price from $780 to $700 expressing concerns that iPhone production may be coming down. The stock saw another downgrade today by Citigroup due to uncertainty around the demand for the newest iPhone and the strong competition from Samsung.

We are turning cautious on Apple supply chain, as we believe we are at the peak of many product cycles,” opined Jeff Pu, analyst at Fubon Financial Holding Co, as quoted by Bloomberg. “The most important message is ‘iPhone 5 is game over,’ as demand appears to be weaker than expected — i.e., US peaking, China launch just so so.”
Apple’s share price fell by 3.76 percent on Friday to $509.79.