China Unicom, the second-largest wireless carrier in China, opened pre-orders for Apple’s iPhone 5 on Monday, and received over 100,000 pre-orders for the handset. It’s official launch in the country takes place on December 14th.
The final tally came in at 4 p.m. on Tuesday local China time, less than one day after China Unicom started preorder sales of Apple’s newest handset, reports Sina Tech. A separate report from Sohu affirmed the China Unicom numbers and added that China Telecom subsidiary Beijing Telecom received more than 5,000 orders on Sunday when it opened iPhone 5 sales.
The device finally received a network license last week, after making its way thru China’s approval process. The process took nearly a month to complete.
China Unicom had been rumored to be offering the iPhone 5 by the end of the year after a negotiation session with Apple in September. The carrier has been an Apple partner since it signed a 3-year deal in 2009.
The provider did not require customers to place a deposit on the iPhone 5, instead using an ID card and telephone number verification system.
China’s smartphone market is important for Apple. As of September the company held about a 15% share of the booming market. This, without tapping into the subscriber base held by China Mobile, China’s, and the world’s, largest carrier.