China's major mobile carriers and retailers have received more than 4 million reservations for Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus since the company announced the devices’ upcoming release on Tuesday, various reports indicate. The demand isn't surprising -- Chinese consumers have been snapping up the devices for over $3,000 each on the black market.
Apple has not confirmed the numbers, but the Chinese e-commerce site JingDong claims that nearly 3 million prospective customers have expressed collective interest in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Currently, the retailer’s website, which is tracking reservations in real time, indicates that 1,400,514 people have made reservations for the iPhone 6, while 1,503,971 have made reservations for the iPhone 6 Plus. New Chinese outlet Tencent, however, says that collective reservations for the new iPhones exceed 4 million. The tech blog Sina.cn said on Thursday that reservations had surpassed 2 million within six hours.
Preorders for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus won’t be available in China until Oct. 10. Carriers China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom are expected to have devices in stock starting Oct. 17. But anticipation for both devices has been apparent since the their initial launch on Sept. 19. Black-market demand for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus surfaced immediately, and handsets were being shipped to China in Twinkie packages, toothpaste boxes and coffee tins while awaiting regulatory approval from Beijing authorities, according to reports.
“We are thrilled to bring iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to our customers in China on all three carriers at launch,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a press release.
Chinese customers will also be able to reserve the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus for in-store pick up as of Oct. 14.
Carriers will have them in gold, silver or space gray with 16GB, 64GB and 128GB storage options. Prices for the iPhone 6 start at 5,288 yuan ($861), while the iPhone 6 Plus starts at 6,088 yuan ($991).
The devices have already sold over 10 million units globally since the Sept. 19 launch day. Five million preorders were taken across nine major markets, including the U.S. and U.K., during the first 24 hours of presales.
The iPhone 6 family is now expected to mark Apple's most successful smartphone launch. Analysts predict that the Cupertino, California-based company will sell between 70 million and 80 million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models before year-end.