China snaps up iPhone 5s but shares wobble

APPLE sold more than two million iPhone 5s in China in its first weekend on sale in the country, it emerged yesterday, but the company was knocked by its share price sinking during the day’s trading.

Despite the record launch in China, which is expected to become Apple’s biggest market in the near-future, Apple stock floated around $500 before recovering later on.

A close below the coveted $500 mark would be a psychological blow for the firm, that has suffered from a sinking share price since peaking in September.

The company had taken a hit earlier this month when research firm IDC said Apple had slipped down to sixth in the list of China’s top smartphone sellers.

Apple was hit yesterday by analyst downgrades. Citi downgraded the stock from “buy” to “neutral”, while Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said the company had cut orders of the iPhone 5 due to weaker sales, and that manufacturing plans for the iPad had also been reduced. Apple has lost more than 25 per cent of its market value since mid-September

Nonetheless, yesterday’s announcement from Apple proved that there is still high demand for the company’s products in the world’s second-biggest economy.

“Customer response to iPhone 5 in China has been incredible, setting a new record with the best first weekend sales ever in China,” Apple boss Tim Cook.