"Customer response to iPhone 5 in China has been incredible, setting a new record with the best first weekend sales ever in China," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "China is a very important market for us and customers there cannot wait to get their hands on Apple products."
Apple said the iPhone 5 will be available for sale in more than 100 markets by the end of the year, which Apple calls the fastest iPhone rollout ever. Apple sold more than four million iPhone 5s when it first launched in September. At this point, Apple has not said how many iPhone 5s it has sold in total since it first went on sale.
[ Apple's been pleasantly surprised by the popularity of its 7-inch iPad. See Apple Doubles iPad Mini Display Orders. ]
Apple launched the iPad Mini in China on December 7. It has yet to share sales figures for the smaller tablet.
Apple has changed the way it sells iPhones and iPads at its retail stores in China. The devices can be picked up from official Apple retail stores only if they are first reserved by consumers. Apple began accepting in-store reservations for the iPad Mini on Thursday, December 6, and for the iPhone on Thursday, December 13. Customers must then return the following day to pick up their device.
The reason behind this change is two-fold. First, Apple wanted to avoid some of the launch day shenanigans that have occurred in the past. (Earlier this year, an angry mob threw eggs at Apple's flagship store in Beijing when the iPhone 4S went on sale. Apple later decided the iPhone 4S would be available for purchase in China only through its website.) Second, it wanted to cut down on the number of scalpers purchasing i-devices and then later selling them for a profit.
The iPhone 5 has a 4-inch Retina Display (640 x 1136 pixels), 8-megapixel camera, A6 processor and runs iOS 6. It is available in black or white, and in 16-GB, 32-GB and 64-GB capacities. It is thinner and lighter than previous models.