Golden iPhone5S in hot demand as fewer fans queue in Hong Kong, mainland China for new phones

While the new gold colour 5s models seems extremely popular, Chinese buyers appear less enthusiastic about 'cheap' 5c models

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 September, 2013, 10:21am
UPDATED : Friday, 20 September, 2013, 5:36pm

Apple fans in Hong Kong and on the mainland queued up on Friday morning at the US technology company's stores and at local telecommunication retailers to snap up the latest models of the iPhone.

More than 60 customers were in line at Beijing’s flagship Wangfujin store by 8am, Sina News reported. A staff member explained that only customers who had placed orders in advance were allowed to enter the store before 10am. The restriction was lifted after that time.

Video:Apple stores in Hong Kong open up for iPhone 5C and 5S pre-orders

The first buyer in the Beijing Wangfujin store, identified by his last name Li, took home an iPhone 5s while wearing a triumphant smile on his face. Li said he had been waiting at the store since 4am, and the phone was a birthday gift for his father.

In Shanghai’s Lujiazui Apple store, similar restrictions were imposed. One blogger posted photos showing a short line of people waiting at the store to pick-up pre-ordered iPhones.

“I didn’t see a crowd,” a buyer in Shanghai wrote with surprise.

Photos shared by Apple fans showed long lines at other local telecommunication stores in cities across the country selling contracted iPhones.

The new gold colour model seemed extremely popular. Many buyers said they were disappointed after being told they were out of stock. Some were forced to opt for other colours.

Buyers appeared less enthusiastic about the 5c models, which received lukewarm reviews from Chinese consumers who said they were not cheap enough.

On social media, owners of new iPhones proudly shared photos of their handsets.

Dirven by soaring demand and limited supply, prices for the popular gold iPhone 5S in the unauthorised resale market in Hong Kong and China continued to rise on Friday.

At one point on Friday afternoon, resellers in Sin Tat Plaza in Mong Kok, a popular shopping mall containing many electronics stores, were asking HK$11,000 for a gold 16G model, according to one post on Weibo.  Mainland Chinese media have also reported that the golden model enjoy at least a 500-1000 yuan premium in the resale market across the country.

Video: Apple staff welcomed the first customer at Beijing Wangfujin store on Friday morning.

Read more SCMP China Insider stories written by Amy Li or follow her on Twitter