AIS sees strong sales for iPhones

AIS sees strong sales for iPhones

Some customers started queueing at 3am to get hands on the latest Apple model

A local Apple enthusiast checks out an iPhone at the Apple Store at CentralWorld in Bangkok on Friday. (Photo: Nutthawat Wichieanbut)
A local Apple enthusiast checks out an iPhone at the Apple Store at CentralWorld in Bangkok on Friday. (Photo: Nutthawat Wichieanbut)

Advanced Info Service (AIS) says demand for the new iPhone 15 was 20% higher than for the iPhone 14 models that came lout last year, even amid a slowing economy.

The mobile operator said demand remains strong for mobile devices in the mid- to high-end segments.

The iPhone 15, 15 Plus, 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max were available for pre-order from Sept 15, with buyers able to pick them up starting on Friday at the branches of local operators and Apple stores.

All local telecom operators also launched trade-in campaigns, allowing subscribers to exchange their old phones for iPhone 15 models at shops nationwide.

According to Pratthana Leelapanang, chief consumer business officer at AIS, the company’s pre-order system recorded a 64% uptick in orders on the first day compared with the same campaign for iPhone 14 models last year.

Mr Pratthana said demand was higher than last year, driven by fans of Apple’s iOS system as well as the trade-in promotion available at AIS service shops nationwide.

The iPhone 15 models also have a new USB-C charging port, the same as on Android smartphones, increasing demand among consumers who use both phone varieties as it makes charging easier, he said.

In addition, the trade-in promotions are expected to shorten the time for customers to upgrade their smartphones, from an average of two years in the past to one year, said Mr Pratthana.

He said the subdued economy is stunting consumer purchasing power and may affect other smartphone segments, such as those priced around 5,000 to 6,000 baht.

AIS has more than 7 million 5G customers. Mr Pratthana said he expects the total number of 5G users in the Thai market next year to increase more than 20%, driven by the launch of a variety of 5G smartphones for both iOS and Android operating systems.

AIS customers who pre-ordered have two options to obtain the devices. They can get devices through a 36-hour in-store pickup at AIS Siam Square, from 8am Friday through 9pm Saturday.

They can also pick up the devices at the Grab & Go service, which allows customers who purchased via the AIS Online Store to collect their devices from 8am to 10am Friday and from 11.30pm Friday to 5am Saturday.

AIS offers a wide range of perks for purchasers of iPhone 15 models. For example, with the “Guarantee Buy Back” programme, buyers can receive a maximum buy-back price of 33,450 baht if they want to sell their phone.

Paramate Rienjaroensuk, chief executive of Copperwired Plc, an authorised Apple reseller, said the launch of new iPhone 15 models had been quite successful, with new features and several promotional offers from mobile operators, such as trade-in deals, driving sales.

Customers queue outside the Apple Store at CentralWorld in Bangkok on Friday to buy the new iPhone 15. Some showed up as early as 3am. (Photo: Nutthawat Wichieanbut)

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