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(LEAD) iPhone X sold out on first day of preorder on supply shortages

2017/11/17 10:08

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SEOUL, Nov. 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's mobile carriers said Friday their first preorder batch of U.S. tech giant Apple Inc.'s latest iPhone X smartphones were sold out in a few minutes after being launched here, apparently due to supply shortages.

No. 1 mobile carrier SK Telecom Co. said it sold all of its allocated iPhone X phones in three minutes after starting preorders. The figure compares to the iPhone 7 released last year, which took 20 minutes to sell all of the initial volume.

SK Telecom said its inventory for the iPhone X was less than half of the iPhone 8 which hit local shelves earlier this month. The mobile carrier said the silver-color editions were sold out in around a minute.

KT Corp. also said its initial volume of 20,000 units was also sold out in five minutes. LG Uplus Corp. is also presumed to have sold all preorder smartphones.

"The initial inventories were already too low to meet the demand," an official from a mobile carrier said, adding the future supplies also remain uncertain.

Industry watchers estimate the number of iPhone X smartphones allocated for South Korea in preorders were 150,000, hovering far below above-200,000 units posted by the iPhone 8 smartphones.

The price of the 64GB iPhone X stands at 1.36 million won (US$1,237), and that of the 256GB version is set at 1.55 million won. Local users will be provided options to choose between a discount of around 34,000 won to 122,000 won and a 25-percent cut in monthly pay plans.

Even considering the discounts, industry watchers said local prices are still far higher than the U.S., where the 64GB edition is available for $999.

Preorders for the iPhone 8 smartphones here stood at just 60-70 percent of demand for the iPhone 7 series. Industry watchers said the sluggish figure apparently due to many Apple fans waiting for the arrival of the iPhone X.

The 5.8-inch iPhone X is equipped with new features such as Face ID and an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display.

Some of Apple Inc.'s iPhone X smartphones are shown in this picture released by SK Telecom Co. on Nov. 16, 2017. (Yonhap) Some of Apple Inc.'s iPhone X smartphones are shown in this picture released by SK Telecom Co. on Nov. 16, 2017. (Yonhap)

colin@yna.co.kr

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