“Customer response to iPhone 5 in China has been incredible, setting a new record with the best first weekend sales ever in China,” said chief executive Tim Cook.
“China is a very important market for us and customers there cannot wait to get their hands on Apple products,” said Mr Cook.
The apparently defensive disclosure came after analysts said they did not expect the iPhone 5 to do as well in China as previous Apple devices, in part because of stronger local competition. In August it was reported that Apple's share of there Chinese smartphone market had tumbled 50 per cent on the year to about a tenth, while the overall market grew rapidly.
“In absolute terms, this launch will certainly result in strong sales for Apple in China. However, in relative terms, I don't believe it will move the needle enough in market share,” said Shiv Putcha, an analyst at Ovum.
UBS meanwhile slashed it target price for Apple stock from $780 to $700 on the basis of lower expectations in China, and according to Gartner Apple cut iPhone shipments there to 3.3 million in third quarter, down from 5.7 million in the first quarter.
Apple is, however, expected to redouble its challenge in China next year through a carrier deal with China Mobile, the country’s largest network operator, which has 700 million subscribers.
Christopher Williams, Telegraph.co.uk