TAIPEI (CNA) – Apple’s new flagship iPhone X was officially launched Friday in Taiwan, one of the 50 markets around the world to receive the first wave of the latest smartphone model released by the U.S. tech giant.
Sales at the Apple Shop in the 101 building in Taipei’s Xinyi District started at 8 a.m., with a long line of customers queuing to get the device that they had pre-ordered since Oct. 27.
A man surnamed Hsu who was at the front of the line said he had been waiting outside the store since 4 a.m. for his pre-ordered iPhone X — a 256 GB version, silver and gray in color, with facial recognition, cordless charging and an OLED screen.
Hsu told CNA that in order to secure a slot for the pre-order, he had to ask six friends to get on the store’s website on Oct. 27, using four cellphones and three computers, and he managed to place the order at around 3 p.m. that day.
Some 70 percent of Taiwan’s iPhone users usually buy their phones on contract from a telecom service provider but because of the strong demand for the iPhone X, they are worried that the first batch of 50,000 allocated for the Taiwan market will be sold out on Friday.
Both Chunghwa Telecom and Taiwan Mobile, two of the three major telecom service providers in Taiwan, said their iPhone X supply is expected to increase after the year-end holiday shopping season in the United States and Europe.
According to Tu Yuan-kuang (涂元光), president of Chunghwa Telecom Mobile Business Group, Taiwan would receive shipments of iPhone X every week but the number was still unknown.
Cheng Yu (鄭優), chairman of Chunghwa Telecom, said he was optimistic that the company’s revenue would rise in the coming months on strong sales of the iPhone X.
In a similar forecast, Taiwan Mobile chief business officer Jeff Ku (谷元宏) said that his company expected to see its best iPhone sales this year, thanks to the popularity of the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 7.
At Far EasTone, pre-orders for the iPhone X have been more than twice the average number for other iPhone models, according to Maxwell Cheng (鄭智衡), the company’s chief sales and marketing officer.
Based on the pre-orders placed with Far EasTone, he said, the most popular version of the iPhone X was the gray and silver with 256 GB of storage.
Tsannkuen Co., Ltd., a major distributor of computers, communication and consumer electronics, said more than 1,000 units of iPhone X at 83 Apple Shops on its nationwide premises were sold out within half an hour after sales began at 8 a.m. Friday.
More than 300 customers lined up in front of the Tsannkuen flagship store in Neihu District in Taipei and 70 percent of them purchased the 256 GB version of the iPhone X, mostly in silver or gray, the company said. •
By Flor Wang, M.Y. Chiang and Jeffrey Wu