Apple iPhone gets blockbuster weekend, thanks to China

Chinese consumers snapped up 2 million iPhone 5 handsets over the weekend. Still, a new Citi Research report helped drive Apple shares down. 

Security guards and staff stand at the entrance of an Apple store during the release of the Apple iPhone 5 in Beijing's Wangfujing shopping district, on Dec. 14.

Chinese consumers snapped up two million iPhone 5 handsets in just three days – a record for the best weekend launch of an Apple product in China

In a statement, Apple CEO Tim Cook called China a "very important market for us," and said "customer response to [the] iPhone 5 in China has been incredible."

Certainly, the sales figures are good news for Apple, which has not experienced the same market success (nor invested the same marketing muscle) in the east as it has in the States.

As The Wall Street Journal notes, Apple sold only 2.1 million iPhone 4S units in China in the entire fiscal third quarter of this year. 

Still, not all is bliss in Cupertino. On Monday, shares in Apple fell after Citi Research downgraded Apple's stock on Sunday from "buy" to "neutral." 

"Our previous buy rating was trading oriented, reflecting our expectation for a near-term rally (after a substantial sell-off) on strong iPhone 5 sales," Citi Research said in a note to investors obtained by the Journal. "However, near-term supply-chain order cuts, while inconclusive in nature, bring into question the strength of [the] iPhone 5 and refocus investors onto risks in the Apple story."

In related news, Apple's iOS recently surpassed Android as the mobile operating system of choice among American smartphone users. According to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, iOS currently accounts for 48.1 percent of the American smart phone market, while Android has 46.7 percent. 

Despite the fact that it was not drastically overhauled – we think of the device as a modest refinement of the iPhone 4 design – the iPhone 5 was received warmly by critics when it launched in the US this fall. 

"On balance," wrote Walt Mossberg of the Journal, "I still consider the iPhone the best smartphone on the market."

For more tech news, find us on Twitter @venturenaut.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Apple iPhone gets blockbuster weekend, thanks to China
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today