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Apple’s iPhone X sells out in just 3 minutes

Nov 18,2017
The first batch of Apple’s 10th anniversary iPhone X smartphones sold out as soon as preorders began in Korea on Friday, despite concerns over the hefty price tag.

According to the largest local mobile carrier SK Telecom on Friday, the first batch of iPhone X phones sold out in just three minutes after sales began at 9 a.m. It took about 20 minutes for the first batch of iPhone 7 preorders to sell out in 2016.

Silver was especially popular. The silver versions of both the 64 and 256 gigabyte models sold out in roughly a minute through SK Telecom.

The second-largest local carrier KT also reported that it sold 20,000 iPhone X units in just five minutes. LG U+ said that the iPhone X sold twice as fast as the iPhone 8 during the first 10 minutes after preorders began.

Korean consumers didn’t seem to mind the high price, which is even marked up by about 200,000 won ($181.81) compared to the U.S.
Industry insiders say that such fast sales of the new phone are attributable both to Korea’s tech-savvy Apple fans that have been impatiently waiting to get their hands on the latest model, and the relatively small number of iPhone X phones assigned to Korea.

KT, for instance, sold 50,000 iPhone 8s in 30 minutes when it opened preorders three weeks ago.

As Apple faces difficulty bringing up their supply levels to meet worldwide demand, mobile carriers say the first delivery of the anniversary phone was less than half the size of the first shipment of iPhone 8s. Local media outlets came up with different estimates, but compared to over 200,000 iPhone 8s, it’s safe to assume that there are little more than 100,000 iPhone X phones in the country.

“It’s difficult for us to meet demand with the current supply situation,” a source from the mobile industry said.

As the schedules for additional supplies from Apple is currently unknown, there are likely to be a lot of Apple fans going home empty handed with a long wait ahead of them.

The iPhone X costs 1.42 million won for the 64GB model and 1.63 million won for the 256GB version if purchased directly from Apple Korea. Phones released through local mobile carriers were about 5 percent cheaper with a monthly subscription. Through mobile carriers, the 64GB phone costs 1,360,700 won and the 256GB model is 1,557,600 won. The price is still about 100,000 won to 200,000 won more expensive than the most expensive Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Note8 phablet, at 1,254,000 won.

Apple has faced complaints around the world due to a so-called green line of death appearing on some iPhone X displays. In countries where the phone was already released earlier this month, some users have reported that there is a green line running down the side of their phones. Some even complained of distortion and a buzzing noise coming from the speakers.

The iPhone X officially launches in Korea on Nov. 24.

BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]