Apple opens official online store through Chinese e-commerce site Tmall

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Apple has launched a new online store through Tmall, a Chinese popular e-commerce site Tmall, reports the Wall Street Journal. Tmall, which is owned by the Alibaba Group, is already home to thousands of official retail outlets for other brands, such as Nike. The new storefront will not replace Apple’s own first-party store, but will instead complement it.

Like the store on Apple’s website, the Tmall store will be participating in Apple’s “Red Friday” sales event later this week. Unlike Apple’s eBay store in the United States, the Tmall site sells brand-new products rather than refurbished ones.

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Apple Stores to implement iBeacon location technology to improve service, boost sales

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Customers entering an Apple Store (Photo by Gary Burke)

iOS 7’s flashy launch earlier this year overshadowed a breakthrough new feature: iBeacons, a location-based technology with profound implications for industries such as retail. An iBeacon system could allow a store to install transmitters that would wirelessly connect to an iPhone and tell the phone its location with respect to items on shelves. This iPhone could then perform additional functionality if it is equipped with a specialized application. According to multiple sources, Apple is planning to soon enable just that in its retail stores… Read more

Wall Street Journal backs up analyst reports that Apple is reducing component orders for iPhone 5c

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is cutting component orders for the iPhone 5c by up to a third, reiterating the news that Apple is curtailing iPhone 5c production. This backs up a multitude of reports by industry analysts, which said that iPhone 5c demand is weaker than Apple’s initial expectations.

Apple told its Taiwanese assemblers Pegatron Corp. and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. that shipments of the iPhone 5C in the fourth quarter would be cut, the people said. Pegatron, which analysts say assembles two thirds of the iPhone 5Cs, was told orders would be cut by less than 20%, said a person familiar with the matter. Hon Hai, which assembles the remaining low-cost iPhones, was told orders would be cut by a third, said two people familiar with the matter.

In the past, Apple CEO Tim Cook has cautioned against supplier shipments analysis as an indicator of sales performance, saying that Apple sources components from multiple manufacturers. However, the sheer number of independent reports about cuts to iPhone 5c suggests there is some underlying truth to the story. On the flip side, iPhone 5s sales seem to be booming, doing better than predicted.

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Twice as many people buying iPhone 5s as iPhone 5c (latest claim)

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With no word from Apple on the breakdown of its record-breaking iPhone sales between 5s and 5c (and no word expected during the company’s earnings call either), everyone is posting their estimates.

First to the punch was Localytics, who used iPhone connections to mobile and web apps to come up with an estimate of three to one in favor of the 5s. KGI’s Mingchi Kuo disagreed, using supply chain analysis to put the figures closer to 50/50, and suggesting that, if anything, sales of the 5c might be slightly higher. Now we have Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (via AllThingsD) using consumer surveys to suggest that the 5s is outselling the 5c two-to-one …  Read more

Are iPhone 5c sales low or supplies high?

Image: abcnews.com

Image: abcnews.com

KGI’s Mingchi Kuo, an analyst with a solid track-record, and the man who came closest (almost) to calling opening weekend sales of the iPhone, now believes Apple shipped ‘just’ 11.4M iPhone 5c handsets in September, rather than the 17M he had earlier forecast, reports Business Insider.

Kuo is now estimating Apple shipped 11.4 million 5Cs in the September quarter, a 33% drop from his original estimate. He also says he expects 5C sales to be just 10.4 million units for the December quarter, a 10% sequential drop.

This makes some sense of the rampant discounting seen on the 5C (which actually started at Walmart before launch), but doesn’t necessarily mean that iPhone sales as a whole are down …  Read more

Production analysis disputes claims of 5s outselling 5c; forecasts combined sales of 50-55M in Q4

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KGI’s Mingchi Kuo, an analyst with an excellent track record, has disputed an earlier suggestion by web analytics company Localytics that the iPhone 5s is outselling the 5c three-to-one, suggesting that actual sales are closer to 50/50 – with 5c sales actually likely to be somewhat higher.

KGI estimates that the 9M initial sales comprised 3.5-4.5M iPhone 5s, and 4.5-5.5M iPhone 5c.

The confidential briefing document points out that analytics data is based on activation (or, more specifically, use of the phone to browse the web and run certain apps), which is not the same as sales. KGI’s estimates are based on production numbers …  Read more