iPad mini launches in Hong Kong to lukewarm response

iPad mini launches in Hong Kong to lukewarm response

Summary: Despite Apple adopting the lottery ordering system for iPad mini and iPad 4 in Hong Kong, the sufficient stocks suggest its latest tablet isn't really viewed a hotcake item among Chinese people.

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The iPad mini officially launches in Hong Kong today, with one of the cheapest prices in the world for the device starting from HK$2,588 (US$334) per set.

Similar to the sale strategy of iPhone 5, Apple in Hong Kong also adopts a lottery ordering system which requires consumers to send applications online a day prior to the purchase date. Only those who receive a confirmation e-mail will be able to purchase up to two sets of iPad mini at an Apple store the following day.

But there is a major difference here. iPhone 5, which launched officially in late-September, today is still "unavailable" for online purchase in Hong Kong. And the lottery system is the only way for consumers to get the latest version of unlocked iPhone set in Hong Kong today.

However, the iPad mini is still available through online orders with purchases of up to two sets per customer. The delivery date is estimated to be around two weeks, according to the Apple's Hong Kong official Web site.

It is the same story for the latest version of iPad. While those who prefer to purchase the set in an Apple store must first secure a confirmation notice through the lottery system, the new sets are also available for customers to order online with free delivery, at an estimated delivery date of only one week.

However, Sina News reports said when iPad mini was first available for preorder on Oct. 26 in Apple's online store, it was sold out in just 20 minutes. But preorders soon become available again, suggesting the current inventory stock was either adequate or market responses were lukewarm.

It is also worth noting that iPad mini and iPad 4 are still priced close to the products sold in the United States. However, Apple raised its unlocked iPhone 5 retail prices by about 10 percent over the previous generation in Hong Kong, making it no longer the place where customers can purchase the iPhone 5 at the lowest price.

The scarce supply of iPhone 5 in Hong Kong allows it to be priced well above the retail prices in the black market. In China, people still need pay over 7,000 yuan (US$1,110) for the lowest model of iPhone 5 smuggled from Hong Kong, which is only priced HK$5,088 (US$656) in the city.

The popularity of iPhone 5, however, is unlikely to be duplicated in sales of iPad mini and iPad 4 in consideration of their market responses in Hong Kong today. 

Topics: iPad, Apple, iPhone, Smartphones, China, Hong Kong

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8 comments
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  • No queue in London

    There was no queue outside Apple's flagship Regent Street store in London this morning, either. I was hoping for some Friday morning entertainment, laughing at the comedy of the Apple fan desperados who probably queued overnight. The store must have been expecting long queues because there were barriers outside. When the store opened I inquired with a smug member of staff who informed me that "there us a queue, inside". I went upstairs and, it's true, there was a small queue at the checkout.
    Tim Acheson
    • Wow...

      Cowboy Tim, the Windows blowhard fanboy extraordinaire, goes out of his way to make a tiny point and follows it up by trolling on an Apple post where the ink is hardly dry....
      Have you nothing better to do? Shouldn't you get your head down in your cubicle?
      The hypocrisy of these lost-soul fools is the real entertainment. Apple owns you all to the point where obsessive behaviour becomes your life. Truly monumental stupidity. Congrats.
      frogspaw
    • Don't you love to see Apple fail

      I am still wondering what has Apple done to you and your family and why all the hate.

      Kind of sad isn't it, sorry I don't think it applies to you.

      Can't believe someone out there who lave bashing Apple so much. Sad life perhaps that needs fulfillment.
      AdanC
  • Doesn't Bode Well For Mainland Sales

    Hong Kongers are well-known for buying products not yet made available in mainland China and shipping them there. So lack of demand in Hong Kong indicates lack of demand in the rest of the PRC as well.

    So much for Apple's efforts to boost sales in China...
    ldo17
    • Lottery system prevents happiness.

      It's not that there isn't a demand in HK or PRC but since a riot happened in Beijing, Apple's decided that an electronic lottery system will reduce people lining up.

      But the restricted conditions of the lottery system prevents any sane person with a full time job from successfully making a reservation and be available to make the purchase on that day.

      No wonder no one is lining up at the store, they're all queueing up on the apple servers instead. Making their massive show room just that. A show room.
      Ciremla_10
  • I want Retina display

    So I'm going to wait for Retina iPad mini or hopefully Retina iPad 5-inch.
    iPhone is cool with 4 inches, but on the go or at more casual places like cafeterias I'd prefer a bigger screen, superb reading experience and it must fit my pocket, not backpack.

    My guess Google will drive innovation in 5-inch tablets and Apple will follow up again, but hopefully they will learn from iPad mini.
    tetraclit
  • "Apple Quickly Replenishes Sold Out Inventory"

    There, Cyrus, I fixed your totally biased, 'paid for by Microsoft' headline.

    "However, Sina News reports said when iPad mini was first available for preorder on Oct. 26 in Apple's online store, it was sold out in just 20 minutes. But preorders soon become available again, suggesting the current inventory stock was either adequate or market responses were lukewarm."

    Why did you add the 'or market response was lukewarm' bit? Perhaps you were thinking of Surface, where Balmer won't reveal sales figures

    Oh, and ZDNET bloggers, please stop quoting Balmers "4 million Windows 8 licenses sold", in his unedited statements, he counts boxes shipped to vendors that they intend to put on shelves, big difference from 'sold'
    ShazAmerica
  • Black market price in China around 3000 rmb

    Check out the usual web sites. Seems to me that buying at $334 and selling around $470 represents a tidy profit. So more for predictions of lackluster demand in HK. I anticipate the iPad mini will be a fad purchase for the children, and probably required to demonstrate middle class status to friends and kinsmen.
    taosjake