Asia snaps up Apple’s first gold-colored iPhone
Asia snaps up Apple’s first gold-colored iPhone
From Japan to Singapore, China and Hong Kong, there was a particular clamor for the gold-colored version, closely associated with wealth in Asian cultures.
It was not clear how many of the golden 5S — also available in silver and “space grey” — were available.
Some people had been able to pre-order, if they were fast enough, but those who had not queued early — or even overnight — to get a piece of the “gold rush.”
“Our gold-color iPhones were completely sold out within four minutes when we opened online reservations on September 18,” a spokesman for market leader Singapore Telecom told AFP.
Long lines snaked through SingTel’s launch event at the cavernous Marina Bay Sands convention center as thousands of Apple fans who had made online reservations trooped there to pick up their new gadgets.
John Yap, the first in line, said he decided to buy the golden iPhone because it was “refreshing and a welcome change from the look of all the previous models.”
The 24-year-old accountant queued for nearly 12 hours before he got his hand on a 64-gigabyte version, but said the wait was well worth it.
“I think it’s worth the time especially when it is something you cherish. It is just like queing for concert tickets,” he said.
A spokeswoman for StarHub, another Singaporean carrier, said the gold iPhone 5S was sold out within an hour in its 10 outlets across the city-state.
Singapore’s third carrier, M1, also ran out of the golden phones, according to a chart on its website.
There were similar scenes elsewhere in Asia.
In China, state-run news website sh.eastday.com reported earlier that the gold iPhone 5S models were quickly bought up after online pre-orders began Tuesday morning.
Those looking to get their hands on Apple’s much-coveted latest offering said they did not mind the cost of the 5S — at least 5,288 yuan ($864).
In Beijing, Apple customer Yao Guibing said: “I’ve been using iPhone since its first generation.
“The color is very special.. I believe in Apple’s idea of design, so golden color must be excellent.
“Though some people on the Internet say the golden color is for nouveau riche, I don’t think so.”
Favoured by emperors and representing wealth and luxury in Chinese culture, gold has become a badge of the country’s newly wealthy.
In status-conscious Hong Kong, the golden version was almost nowhere to be found.
“We were able to acquire the 16 gigabyte models, we’ve gotten around 30 to 40 of the gold ones,” Lau Chi-kong, of G-world Mobile in the commercial district of Mong Kok, told AFP, which he described to be a small number.
“I think Apple released a limited amount of the gold version,” Lau said.
Lau will sell the 16 gigabyte version of the gold colored phone for HK$10,800, almost double its retail price, he said.
“There is demand for it, everyone wants it,” he added.
Some customers who were left empty-handed vented their frustration online.
“What’s the point of having priority to purchase when (companies don’t) even provide sufficient phones for us?” asked Lipingg Jaimelody on M1’s Facebook page.
“Launches at 8am, and (at) 8.40am gold was all sold out,” she ranted.
“Should sack Tim Cook who ain’t cook enough gold for the consumer,” customer Teo PC also wrote on M1’s Facebook page, referring to the Apple chief executive.
Potential SABIC deal would affect Saudi Aramco IPO time frame, says CEO Nasser
JEDDAH: A potential deal to buy a stake in petrochemical maker SABIC would affect the time frame of Saudi Aramco's initial public offering (IPO), the oil firm's president and CEO Amin H. Nasser said Friday.
The IPO of around 5 percent of Aramco, which was initially to take place this year but is now more likely to happen later, would be the world's biggest listing, raising up to $100 billion.
Nasser said that buying a stake in a chemical company like SABIC would positively affect Aramco's revenue, Al Arabiya reported.
“We are still in the very early stages of the discussion to buy a stake in SABIC,” the Aramco CEO said.
“Aramco is ready for the initial offer and the timing remains subject to the state's decision.”
Saudi Aramco said on Thursday it is looking at the possibility of buying a stake in SABIC, a move that could boost the state oil giant’s market valuation ahead of the planned IPO.
Aramco said in a statement that it was in “very early-stage discussions” with the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) to acquire the stake in SABIC via a private transaction. It has no plans to acquire any publicly held shares, it said.
In a separate statement, PIF also said talks about a sale were in early stages. “There is a possibility that no agreement will be reached in relation to this potential transaction,” it said.