Due to the short supply of Apple’s most expensive iPhone, the initial preorder volume allocated for the South Korean market ran out within a few minutes Friday, as soon as it was launched.
According to mobile carriers here, the first preorder batch of the latest iPhone X sold out in less than five minutes, reflecting high expectations toward Apple’s first smartphone with an organic light-emitting diode screen and face ID function. Unlike the iPhone 8 series that hit shelves last month, the iPhone X has no home button.
Korea’s No. 1 mobile carrier by revenue, SK Telecom, said it sold the first batch of the iPhone X in three minutes after starting preorders. KT, the company that was the first to introduce Apple’s iPhone here in 2010, said it sold around 20,000 units in five minutes.
In comparison, the predecessor iPhone 7 released last year was sold out in 20 minutes.
SKT employees promote an event for preordering the iPhone X at a SK Telecom shop. (SK Telecom)
LG Uplus also said preorders for the iPhone X were two times higher than the iPhone 8 for the first 10 minutes.
“The initial inventories were already too low to meet demand,” an official from a mobile carrier said, adding that future supplies remain uncertain.
According to SKT, its inventory for the iPhone X was less than half of the iPhone 8 smartphones.
Industry watchers estimate the number of iPhone X smartphones allocated for preorders in Korea was around 100,000, far below the over 200,000 units for preorders of the iPhone 8.
The mobile carriers said they would continue to receive preorders, but deliveries are expected to be delayed due to the supply shortage.
The price of the 64-gigabyte iPhone X is 1.36 million won ($1,237), while the 256-GB version costs 1.55 million won. The prices in Korea are higher than those in the US, where the 64-GB edition is priced at $999.
Koreans will be provided with the option to choose between a discount of around 34,000 won to 122,000 won and a 25 percent cut in monthly payment plans.
Shares of Korean part suppliers for the iPhone X were buoyed by the news of the record-breaking preorders.
LG Innotek, which supplies the camera module for the iPhone X, rose 3.35 percent to 169,500 won.
Interflex, which provides flexible printed circuit boards for the new Apple phones, edged up 1.33 percent to 68,700 won.
By Song Su-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)