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Understanding Appetite for Apple’s iPhone X in Korea

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iPhone X sells out in minutes

Even as reports emerged about Apple’s (AAPL) headquarters in South Korea being raided ahead of the official release of the flagship iPhone X in the country, the demand already appears to outpace the supply.

According to a report by South Korea-based newspaper the Korea Herald, the first batch of iPhone X sold out in the country in a matter of minutes. It signals that the demand for the iPhone X is stronger than the iPhone 8 released the previous month.

iPhone X sold out faster than the iPhone 7

SK Telecom (SKM), South Korea’s leading mobile carrier, sold its first batch of iPhone X in three minutes after it started taking preorders. The carrier saw stronger demand for the iPhone X than it did for the iPhone 7 last year. Other South Korean mobile carriers like KT Corp and LG Uplus also recorded overwhelming iPhone preorders.

Buyers apparently held off purchases

Many Apple customers in South Korea held off purchasing the iPhone 8 and waited for the iPhone X. The flagship device features significant design upgrades that put the iPhone X in a class of its own among Apple’s past iPhones. The iPhone X is also the most expensive iPhone in Apple’s portfolio, which suggests that it could generate better profits for the company if it’s a success.

In the US (SPY) and the United Kingdom (EWU), the base iPhone X model that offers 64GB of storage space starts at $999 and £999, respectively. In South Korea, the model is priced equivalent to $1,237.

Apple groups its sales into five geographies—Americas, Europe (EFA), China (MCHI), Japan (EWJ), and Rest of Asia-Pacific. South Korea’s sales are reported under Rest of Asia-Pacific.

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