Apple's latest iPhone 15 series made a remarkable debut in Chinese stores, dispelling uncertainties about its competitiveness in a market crowded with Huawei's rivals and amid government restrictions on Apple.
In Beijing's bustling Sanlitun shopping district, customers flocked to Apple's flagship store, just one of the 45 official outlets across the country, to experience the four new iPhone models.
Meanwhile, JD Daojia, a grocery delivery platform partnered with over 4,600 Apple resellers, reported a staggering 253% increase in sales of the iPhone 15 series in the first two hours of launch compared to last year's iPhone 14.
Notably, orders from lower-tier cities surged sixfold, mirroring the enthusiasm seen during pre-orders on e-commerce sites the previous week.
The premium iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models, priced between 7,999 and 13,999 yuan (US$1,095 and US$1,916), come equipped with Apple's touted "industry's first 3-nanometer chip" – the A17 Pro – and embrace the more versatile type-C charging cords.
Analysts, like Amber Liu from research firm Canalys, note that Chinese consumers are increasingly willing to invest in high-quality products, with the average smartphone selling price exceeding US$450 last year and expected to continue rising in the foreseeable future.
Despite global revenue declines, Apple's Greater China market experienced an 8% sales growth in the past June quarter, highlighting the enduring appeal of Apple's products among Chinese consumers.