Whenever there is a new iPhone coming out, there will be a huge panic buying in China. The night before Tim Cook unveiled iPhone 6, Apple took over the whole SNS world in China – everybody is talking about it. Exactly how successful the Apple cult is in China? The following infographic put together by sohu.com may give us a hint.
Back in 2011 when iPhone 4S was newly launched, it was so sought-after that only getting a train ticket during the Spring Festival travel rush can match the scale of difficulty to obtain one. Since mainland China was not among the first regions for the launch, everybody looked to Hong Kong grey market even though the demand pushed the price up to 20,000 RMB (about 3300 USD). In New York, Chinese consumers constituted half the 500 people waiting line in front of the Apple store 24 hours prior to store open. Online, 3000 phones were sold within one hour. Outside the China Apple store, 90% of the iPhone buyers are scalpers.
Then in September 2013 when iPhone 5S came out with a 5288 RMB price tag, somebody did a calculation of the working days needed to afford a iPhone 5S in different countries. Based on the minimum hourly wage of each country, in France people only need to work 7 days to buy an iPhone 5S, in Japan 8 days, in UK 9 days, in the US 11 days, and in China 40 days.
Even so, Apple products are to die for, literally. There are tons of news of people going out their ways to get their hands on an iPhone/iPad. A 17-year-old boy in Hunan Province sold one of his kidney in order to buy iPad2; a man stabbed the seller to death for cheating him with a fake iPhone; a post-95 university girl put herself out in exchange for an iPhone; a post-80s couples in Shanghai sold their new born baby girl for 50,000 RMB and first thing they bought with their cold blooded fortune was iPhone. Moreover, 10% of the theft crimes in China are Apple products related.
Why are people so obsessed with the brand? In China, because of its quality, design and mostly its pricing strategy, iPhone is considered the symbol of wealth, social status and taste. To many, the phone is not a mean to an end, it is an end in itself. And we can’t see an end to the Apple fever in the near future.