In Taiwan, the iPhone 12 sold out in 45 minutes

From Digitimes’ “Strong pre-register for iPhone 12 in Taiwan” posted late Thursday:

Telecom operators, including Chunghwa Telecom (CHT), Far EasTone Telecommunications (FET) and Taiwan Mobile, all began taking pre-registered orders on October 14, with CHT saying it sold out its pre-register quota within 45 minutes.

CHT said 65% of its pre-registered orders were for the iPhone 12, while FET said the volumes it received in the first day of pre-registered orders were three-fold higher than it received for the previous lineup launched a year earlier, with 50% of them for the iPhone 12 Pro.

The sources also said that availability of the iPhone 12 lineup will help accelerate the replacement demand for 5G from 4G models, pushing the number of 5G service subscribers in Taiwan to one million by year-end 2020 or first-quarter 2021 at the earliest.

My take: With the usual caveat that we don’t know how many units CHT was allocated.


  1. Bart Yee said:
    We also don’t know how many of these are destined for the China Mainland as resells. When introductions and availability were staggered and China was later, very common for Taiwan and HK sellers to get stock from local and even US sources (bought as far away as New York!) and then sneak them over the border and sell to fanatical Chinese who lost out or can’t wait for inventory to come back in. Asian and Chinese capitalism at its best.

    Both China and HK have cracked down on the practice but where there’s money to be made in arbitrage, someone is going to risk it. Expanded Tri Chinese telecoms’ inventory and direct Apple online and store selling may also have mitigated the need. I recall a couple of years ago some sellers had leftover stocks they couldn’t sell at profit because local Apple supply was sufficient for demand.

    October 16, 2020
  2. Gregg Thurman said:
    we don’t know how many units CHT was allocated.

    I’m not sure it’s important to know exactly how many Apple allocated to these carriers. The fact that whatever was allocated sold out in less than an hour demonstrates a demand we haven’t seen in many years.

    The key metric now, as production ramps up, will be how long it takes before order dates and fulfillment dates are the same.

    I have no idea when that will happen, but the hairs on the back of my neck tell me it won’t be until January.

    October 16, 2020
  3. Gregg Thurman said:
    Could the purpose of project Titan all along was to develop Lidar for AR and camera improvements?

    October 16, 2020
  4. Bart Yee said:
    But to the article, it’s a nice start for the iPhone 12. It will be very interesting and instructive how preorders turn out

    October 16, 2020
  5. Fred Stein said:
    These phones will be backlogged everywhere for quite a while.

    October 16, 2020
  6. Fred Stein said:
    TMSC, Apple’s chip supplier reported great Q3 and guides big for Q4. They called out 5nm chips (using for A14) specifically.

    October 16, 2020
  7. Steven Philips said:
    A lot of “analyst” and media talk about caution due to the marginal US 5G infrastructure.
    They forget that much of the rest of the world already has the infrastructure!
    Gonna be a big year ahead!

    October 16, 2020

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