A window coated in raw egg wasn’t the only thing Apple got when it launched the iPhone 4S in China earlier this month; it also got a wake-up call about quite how high demand for the new iOS smartphone would be. Appetite for the iPhone 4S was both “staggering” and “off the charts” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a financial results call yesterday, Businessweek reports, admitting that the company “didn’t bet high enough” on supplies of the handset.
“We thought we were betting bold” Cook said of the Chinese launch, which saw crowds build outside of official Apple stores. He also declined to comment on whether Apple would add a second carrier partner in the country, describing current operator China Unicom as “a very key partner” but dropping hints that more was afoot in the near future. “I’ve got nothing to announce today on an expansion there,” Cook dismissed, “but as I’ve consistently said, China is an extremely important market for us and we continue to look at how to grow it further.”
Although Apple’s launch of the Chinese iPhone 4S may have been successful in terms of sales, it was also marred by violence. The crowds waiting outside Apple stores became belligerent and threatening when told there was insufficient stock and that the stores themselves would not be opening; large groups of paid queuers had amassed, believed to be working for gray-market scalpers looking to resell the iPhone at a profit.
Apple announced a record $46.33bn in revenue for the last quarter yesterday, including the sale of 37m iPhones, 15.43m iPads and 15.4m iPods. Mac sales totaled 5.2m units.