The iPhone 6/Plus finally went on sale in China this morning after regulatory delays, in contrast to last year’s launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c in China on the same day as the US … 

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The WSJ reported very quiet scenes at one of Apple’s four Beijing stores …

Unlike some past debuts for its new gadgets, the event was decidedly low-key. About 100 customers waited in line Friday morning outside Apple’s store in Beijing’s upscale Sanlitun shopping district, which opened its doors at 8 a.m. for buyers who had pre-ordered their new wares

The lack of crowds is largely explained by pre-orders, which have been reported to exceed 20M units. The WSJ may also have been better off checking the lines at carrier stores, who opened their doors at midnight – some eight hours before Apple Stores opened for the collection of pre-orders only.

Apple managed to achieve record opening weekend sales of 10M iPhone 6/Plus models even without China’s help. If the rumored Chinese pre-order numbers are correct, that number would have been dramatically higher had the company managed to launch in China on day one. Forrester Research, speaking to Bloomberg, says that 20M pre-registrations would likely convert to early sales of 2-3M units.

Photo credit: Jerome Favre/Bloomberg

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