Apple fails to wow Hong Kong fans with new iPhones

Gadgets' high prices and limited screen size leave much to be desired, forum users say

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 September, 2013, 5:23am

Hong Kong's Apple fans were less than impressed with the latest iPhones yesterday, after waiting a year for their release.

The iPhone 5S comes in three colours - gold, silver and space grey - and features a fingerprint sensor in its home button and an improved camera function. The "budget" iPhone 5C comes in bright colours - blue, green, yellow, pink and white.

But the changes failed to wow fans, with one forum user on saying: "Didn't expect the iPhone 5C to cost more than HK$4,500. I thought it was aimed at the lower-end market and would cost at most HK$4,000. It's disappointing."

Another user said: "Apple lost many customers as it insisted on not increasing the size of the iPhone's screen."

Mobile phone seller Lau Chi-kong, of G-World Mobile in Mong Kok, said he had received far fewer enquiries about the new phones than for previous models. He said: "Customers are not that excited … We received only about 20 calls … But when the iPhone 4 and 4S were released, we got more than 200 calls."

The technology giant unveiled its two latest smartphones on Tuesday, a year after the iPhone 5 was released. They will go on sale in Hong Kong, on the mainland, and in 10 other countries on Friday next week.

Apple's online store said iPhone 5C pre-orders begin tomorrow. It will accept reservations for in-store pick-up for both phones from next Tuesday. Collections begin at 8am next Friday.

Depending on storage size, iPhone 5S retail prices range from HK$5,588 to HK$7,188, and the iPhone 5C costs between HK$4,688 and HK$5,588. On the mainland, iPhone 5S retail prices range from 5,288 yuan (HK$6,654) to 6,888 yuan, and the iPhone 5C costs between 4,488 yuan and 5,288 yuan.

Lau said the mainland's grey market for the new phones was unlikely to be as active as before, because the gadgets were now available there on the same date as in Hong Kong.

"Even though the phones are cheaper [here], the prices would be similar, taking into account the cost of transport," he said.