Over 1 million units of the iPhone 5s shipped to China Mobile ahead of launch

China Mobile, the world's largest mobile network with more than 760 million customers, is all set to launch the iPhone 5s on Friday following its deal with Apple in December. The Chinese carrier is expecting great demand for the latest iPhone as it has reportedly stocked over one million units from Foxconn. Pre-orders for the smartphone began on 25th December but there are no numbers available to judge the success of the smartphone yet.

According to Gartner analyst, Sandy Shen, stocking one million iPhones is quite significant considering that an average of 2 million iPhones are sold in the country every month through other carriers and retailers. The iPhone has been losing marketshare in China over the years, as it did not support the 4G networks in the country until now, and also due to the availability of a variety of devices from rivals Sony, HTC and Samsung in addition to local vendors.

Apple stores and other retailers will also be stocking the iPhone 5s independently. It will be interesting to see how the device performs in the world's largest smartphone market where Apple is placed at a distant 5th position with respect to marketshare.

Source: WSJ | Image via Shutterstock - interior of Apple Store in Shanghai

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iPhone will be huge in China. iPhone is a luxury brand and the new wealthy Chinese are very focused on luxury brands.