Unexpected demand for gold iPhone slows preorder queue
CNATAIPEI--A global shortage of the gold-colored iPhone5S means some preorder customers will have to wait longer to get their hands on Apple Inc.'s snazziest new phone, Taiwan's third-largest mobile carrier said yesterday.
October 22, 2013, 12:06 am TWN
Far EasTone Telecommunications Co. said that 70-80 percent of preorders for new iPhones, set to hit the local market Friday, Oct. 25, were for the gold 5S. Despite the model's popularity, however, it only makes up some 20 percent of new iPhone shipments, which includes the top-tier 5S and the lower-cost, plastic-backed 5C, the carrier said.
The first wave of shipments will only fulfill 20-30 percent of the 10,000 orders for new iPhones placed with Far EasTone, it said.
In other words, the bulk of eager adopters will have to be patient. It could take at least one month to process all of the preorders, according to the company.
Telecom carriers have promised that “most” customers who preordered Apple's newest handsets will be able to get their devices before the end of the year.
Chunghwa Telecom Co., Taiwan's largest mobile operator, said Tuesday, Oct. 15 that presale iPhone 5S models of all colors and capacities sold out within just an hour, with interest in the gold-tinged 5S particularly strong because it is the first time that Apple has offered a phone in that color.
The response surprised Chunghwa Telecom, as customers at the two other major carriers, Taiwan Mobile Co. and Far EasTone, showed less enthusiasm over the new iPhones than in past years, market sources said.
While they wait, there is good news for customers in need of a new phone on the cheap.
On Monday, Far EasTone opened its first outlet in Taipei selling slightly imperfect phones and display models at 30 to 60 percent off original prices. The iPhone 5 is available starting at just NT$8,888 (US$302).
Far EasTone said the outlet targets price-conscious young consumers who tend to replace phones with newer products every 13 to 14 months.