Has the iPhone done the unthinkable and finally lost its luster?
It wasn’t so long ago that the release date of any new iPhone would see the most enormous crowds and genuinely frenzied scenes of chaos outside any and every Apple store the world over – thousands clambering to beat the inevitable stock shortages.
However, take a look at Apple’s recent iPhone 5 launch in China and chances are you’d have no idea there was any product launch going on at all. In rather depressing scenes, the abundance of security called in to prevent chaos and carnage ended up playing a role of lesser-importance by helping to remove the completely unnecessary gates and queuing systems needlessly filling the abandoned streets outside Apple Stores.
Apple seems to have learned its lesson in China this year, as lines were considerably shorter or simply nonexistent.
The question is – had the Chinese market already got its hands on as many unlocked iPhone 5 as it needed to satisfy the masses, or has the iPhone itself run out of steam?
Initial reports suggest that close to 500,000 iPhone 5 preorders had been received prior to launch, which indicates reasonably strong demand and a decent enough kick-off to the proceedings for Apple. When looked at comparatively however the picture is rather gloomier.
On China’s Amazon site for example, the iPhone 5 is at present in ninth place and really hasn’t yet come close to touching the Nokia Lumia 920T Windows Phone, or several other Android Devices from ZTE and Huawei.
As such, critics and analyst are once again suggesting that the future of the iPhone as a whole in China could rest on a deal being ironed out with China Mobile – the nation’s biggest carrier which has the potential to spell the unstoppable rise or demise of any high-end Smartphone.