Those figures are just the first six hours alone in the country.
China has predictably gone completely crazy over Apple’s newest version of its smartphone — in a country madly obsessed by consumerism and the rise of the Tuhao (Chinese nouveau riche), it can only be explained as such, the country of over 1.3 billion has made everyone’s favourite fruit company that much richer by selling nearly an iPhone every ten milliseconds, or a thousandth of a second.
The numbers tell it all: each of China’s top three three mobile phone carriers registered over a million iPhone 6 orders in the first six hours of availability, according to NetworkWorld citing Tencent. If they were queuing for state rations under Mao, they’re now queuing for the latest smartphone from Cupertino in a China that has now truly flourished under Deng’s reform and opening policies.
3 million equates to a sixth of the whole population around metropolitan Beijing, or just a third of the whole of urban London. Converted to hours, this is about half a million per hour, or 8,333 per minute, or 138 per second, or just over one every ten milliseconds. The figure of three million is already a full third of the first weekend sales of the iPhone 5s.
But this does not mean the iPhone has “just” landed on mainland China. Overseas Chinese communities aside, other parts of the Chinese world have also been able to get their hands on Apple’s newest smartphone, including Hong Kong, where there has also been massive smuggling of these devices onto a grey market on the mainland.
The iPhone was a relative latecomer in China, not “officially” arriving in any part of the country until July 2008 (Hong Kong), and only making a very late entry into the mainland in October 2009. There were hurdles this time round which might have precluded a worldwide first release of the iPhone 6 in China as it was also being released in the US, UK and other countries. Still, it has been wildly popular with every new release. The iPhone 6 Plus is no exception: Chinese consumers seem to have a passion for big-screen smartphones (link in simplified Chinese), and the 6 Plus will only endear it to consumers in the world’s most populous country.
On offer for China are somewhat pricier iPhone 6 units (link in simplified Chinese), with the most expensive model (the 128 GB iPhone 6 Plus) costing CNY 7,788 (no contracts needed). However, prices for entry-level iPhones remain cheap; the iPhone 6 (16 GB) starts at a “mere” CNY 5,288.