Reception to Apple’s Brand-New iPhone SE Muted in China

Apple’s new iPhone SE for the budget-conscious is unlikely to be a major driver of sales in China, a Weibo survey suggested, with analysts noting its lacks of 5G capability.

According to a new report from Reuters, a Weibo survey of 350,000 respondents in China has revealed 60 percent of them will not buy Apple’s new iPhone, just one day after the new product was announced.

Around 20% surveyed said that they would buy it, leaving another 20% who said they would consider the purchase. Whilst reasons for purchasing/not purchasing were not part of the survey, as the report notes analysts noted the device’s lack of 5G capability as one potential reason.

“Competition has intensified in China as rivals are now releasing 5G devices compatible with the country’s upgraded telecoms networks while Apple has yet to launch an iPhone with 5G capability,” reads the report.

Other comments suggested that buyers were conscious that holding out on buying the phone would see its price drop. “If you don’t buy it and I don’t buy it, tomorrow the price will drop another 200 yuan ($28 USD),” said one Weibo user whose comment got more than 10,000 likes.

“Apple’s market share in China — its third-biggest market, accounting for roughly 15 percent of its sales — has shrunk over the past several years as Chinese Android brands increasingly release higher-end phones,” reads the report.

The reception for the iPhone SE was similarly muted in Europe, where almost 1 million people have caught the coronavirus and many countries have closed shops or ordered people to stay at home.