Hold on to your hats, folks! On September 16th, Apple’s new iPhone 7 will go on sale in China. Pre-orders will be accepted starting tomorrow.
At its much-anticipated product launch in San Francisco yesterday, Apple also announced that it will be extending its iPhone upgrade program to mainland China. The program has already been around in some markets for the past year, it allows customers to lease iPhones instead of buying them, making monthly payments to upgrade to the latest device each year. In the US, pricing starts at around $32 a month.
As expected, the launch of the newest iPhone, along with the Apple Watch 2, generated heated discussion around the world. The new phones are dust and water-resistant, they have a faster processor, better camera, longer battery life, and come with new wireless “AirPods.”
But it appears that China is not as rabidly excited about this new smartphone as it has in the past. According to Forbes:
Judging by the volume of online chatter, there’s a lot less buzz in China ahead of this week’s expected launch of the new Apple aapl iPhone, and people on the street say they’re more likely to “wait and see” what the latest device offers than rush out to buy.
Posts on China‘s popular Sina Weibo microblogging site show the iPhone 6, which took China by storm in 2014 with its new, larger screen, attracted around 15 times more comments in the month before launch than this year’s model.
The Global Times reports that this lack of enthusiasm is due to a popular perception that the iPhone 7 offers no big breakthroughs and is only an upgrade over previous models.
Apple really needs its flagship phone to do well in China, the company’s second largest market, following sluggish sales this year that has caused stocks to drop and Tim Cook to take a Didi. In China, Apple has slipped to third place in the smartphone market as the company faces increased competition from domestic competitors, who can sell similar phones at a cheaper price and with less hassle from the government or nationalistic patriots.
Still, China not going totally insane over the latest iPhone model? We’ll believe it when we see it. In the past, desperate people have sold their kidneys, sperm, offspring and significant others for one of the precious smartphones.