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Apple's Chinese users are mainly snapping up iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models, new data shows – CNBC

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GUANGZHOU, China — Chinese consumers have taken a liking to Apple’s new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, according to data provided to CNBC.

The two devices in Apple’s new 5G flagship lineup became available for pre-order on Oct. 16. As of 9:30 a.m. China time on Tuesday, 152,737 iPhone 12 units had been pre-ordered, data from Chinese e-commerce site and authorized Apple reseller Fenqile showed.

Fenqile is also taking pre-orders for the iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max, even though they’re not officially available until November.

Out of all the pre-ordered iPhones, nearly 43% are iPhone 12 models and over 28% are iPhone 12 Pro models. Just under 19% are iPhone 12 Pro Max orders and nearly 10% are orders for the iPhone 12 Mini, the device with the smallest screen in the lineup.

The Fenqile data comes after a new note from Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities, known for his accurate predictions on Apple products and sales.

Apple’s launch promotional material of the New iPhone12 Pro seen displayed on a mobile phone screen with an Apple logo in the background.
Pavlo Gonchar | LightRocket | Getty Images

Kuo reported that Apple sold up to 2 million iPhone 12 units in the first 24 hours, up from 800,000 units of the iPhone 11. He also said that iPhone 12 Pro sold better than expected and that China represented 35% to 45% of that model’s demand.

Indeed, on Apple’s official China website, the iPhone 12 Pro had a delivery time of three to four weeks, higher than the two to three weeks for the base iPhone 12 models. Delivery times for devices can often indicate which models are most popular.

Kuo also predicted that the iPhone 12 Mini wouldn’t sell well in China due to its smaller screen, in a market where larger displays are more popular. On Fenqile, the iPhone 12 Mini has the least amount of pre-orders.

The latest figures will be encouraging for Apple given the importance of the Chinese market to the company but also the high expectations that the iPhone 12 range will spur an upgrade “supercycle.”

Apple’s iPhone 12 64GB in blue makes up 20% of pre-orders on Fenqile with the iPhone 12 Pro 128GB Pacific Blue variant making up 11%. These are the two most popular models.

The Cupertino, California giant has been quite aggressive on pricing. The iPhone 12 Pro is cheaper than last year’s iPhone 11 starting price upon release in China.

“Consumers are looking for the best deal now, even before the pandemic. And both the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models could provide them favorable prices and screen size experience,” Will Wong, research manager at IDC, told CNBC.

“The iPhone 12 allows consumers to get the first 5G iPhone with more acceptable prices and specs, while iPhone 12 Pro could provide the ‘Pro’ experience to consumers with more affordable prices too.”

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Britain in talks with 6 firms about building gigafactories for EV batteries

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Britain is in talks with six companies about building gigafactories to produce batteries for electric vehicles (EV), the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people briefed on the discussions.

Car makers Ford Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co Ltd, conglomerates LG Corp and Samsung, and start-ups Britishvolt and InoBat Auto are in talks with the British government or local authorities about locations for potential factories and financial support, the report added .

 

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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EBay to sell South Korean unit for about $3.6 billion to Shinsegae, Naver

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EBay will sell its South Korean business to retailer Shinsegae Group and e-commerce firm Naver for about 4 trillion won ($3.6 billion), local newspapers reported on Wednesday.

EBay Korea is the country’s third-largest e-commerce firm with market share of about 12.8% in 2020, according to Euromonitor. It operates the platforms Gmarket, Auction and G9.

Shinsegae, Naver and eBay Korea declined to comment.

Lotte Shopping had also been in the running, the Korea Economic Daily and other newspapers said, citing unnamed investment banking sources.

South Korea represents the world’s fourth largest e-commerce market. Driven by the coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce has soared to account for 35.8% of the retail market in 2020 compared with 28.6% in 2019, according to Euromonitor data.

Shinsegae and Naver formed a retail and e-commerce partnership in March by taking stakes worth 250 billion won in each other’s affiliates.

($1 = 1,117.7000 won)

 

(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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Canada launches long-awaited auction of 5G spectrum

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Canada is set to begin a hotly anticipated auction of the mobile telecommunications bandwidth necessary for 5G rollout, one that was delayed more than a year by the pandemic.

The 3,500 MHz is a spectrum companies need to provide 5G, which requires more bandwidth to expand internet capabilities.The auction, initially scheduled for June 2020, is expected to take several weeks with Canadian government selling off 1,504 licenses in 172 service areas.

Smaller operators are going into the auction complaining that recent regulatory rulings have further tilted the scales in the favour of the country’s three biggest telecoms companies – BCE, Telus and Rogers Communications Inc – which together control around 90% of the market as a share of revenue.

Canadian mobile and internet consumers, meanwhile, have complained for years that their bills are among the world’s steepest. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has threatened to take action if the providers did not cut bills by 25%.

The last auction of the 600 MHz spectrum raised C$3.5 billion ($2.87 billion) for the government.

The companies have defended themselves, saying the prices they charge are falling.

Some 23 bidders including regional players such as Cogeco and Quebec’s Videotron are participating in the process. Shaw Communications did not apply to participate due to a $16 billion takeover bid from Rogers. Lawmakers and analysts have warned that market concentration will intensify if that acquisition proceeds.

In May, after Canada‘s telecoms regulator issued a ruling largely in favour of the big three on pricing for smaller companies’ access to broadband networks, internet service provider TekSavvy Inc withdrew from the auction, citing the decision.

Some experts say the government has been trying to level the playing field with its decision to set aside a proportion of spectrum in certain areas for smaller companies.

Gregory Taylor, a spectrum expert and associate professor at the University of Calgary, said he was pleased the government was auctioning off smaller geographic areas of coverage.

In previous auctions where the license covered whole provinces, “small providers could not participate because they could not hope to cover the range that was required in the license,” Taylor said.

Smaller geographic areas mean they have a better chance of fulfilling the requirements for the license, such as providing service to 90% of the population within five years of the issuance date.

The auction has no scheduled end date, although the federal ministry in charge of the spectrum auction has said winners would be announced within five days of bidding completion.

($1 = 1.2181 Canadian dollars)

 

(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by David Gregorio)

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