China Gobbles Up iPhone 5 at Launch

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Despite a spate of negativity towards Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) — doubt that the iPhone 5 would sell well in China, a “neutral” stock rating from a Citi analyst, and a $6.85 premarket share drop Monday — the iPhone 5 exploded through the Chinese market, selling 2 million units in just 3 days and topping the iPhone 4S’s launch in China.

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The iPhone 5′s launch in the U.S. and several other developed markets returned 5 million sales in 3 days, with an estimated 2 million accredited to U.S. purchases over the first 10 days. This means the phone didn’t have a strong of initial subscriber penetration in the U.S. as it did in China, with about 1 percent and 1.5 percent penetration, respectively.

With the iPad and iPhone on the market in China, Apple could see nice performance in January during China’s New Year shopping season. The release of the iPhone 5 in more than 100 countries may also add to the performance and help take Apple out of it’s wintery blues.

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