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Telecoms expect 5G boost from sales of new iPhones

Post Date 2021.09.25From:Taipei Times By Lisa Wang / Staff reporter

Telecoms expect sales of Apple Inc’s iPhone 13 series to boost 5G penetration and average revenue per user this year, company executives said yesterday.

Photo right: People who pre-ordered Apple’s latest iPhone yesterday line up at an outlet in Taipei to pick up their new phones. (By CNA)

Almost all executives from the nation’s major telecoms have a bullish view about demand for the new iPhone series, the second-generation 5G phones from Apple, given performance enhancements and discounted retail prices over previous generation models.

“We believe the iPhone 13 series will spur replacement demand, as the new models carry lower price tags than their previous generation cellphones. Usually, new cellphones are pricier,” Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) chairman Sheih Chi-mau (謝繼茂) told reporters in a virtual news conference yesterday.

Apple fans have shown a strong appetite for the new models as reflected in the telecoms’ preorders, especially for premium versions, such as the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, Hsieh said.

The nation’s biggest telecom operator expects the iPhone 13 line to have a “significant boost” on its number of 5G subscribers based on last year’s figures, Chunghwa Telecom’s mobile business group president Alex Chien (簡志誠) said.

About 70 to 80 percent of Chunghwa Telecom’s 5G users subscribed to wireless service packages bundled with iPhone 12s last year, Chien said.

As most iPhone users subscribed to high-end packages such as the NT$1,399 offering, the effect on the company’s average revenue per user would be significant, the company said.

Chunghwa Telecom said its 5G customer base is growing gradually toward its goal of 2 million users by the end of this year.

Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大) expects the iPhone 13 series to outsell its predecessors because of new features, company president Jamie Lin (林之晨) said.

Strong sales of iPhone 13 units, along with Android-powered flagship models, are to accelerate Taiwan mobile’s 5G adoption, Lin said.

He expects the number of its 5G subscribers to grow 1 percent per month for the rest of the year.

Next year, the growth would be about 15 percent on an annual basis, he said.

Without a “killer app,” the company is unlikely to see any explosive growth in 5G customers before 2024, Lin said.

Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信) said that its number of 5G users hit 1 million, accounting for 20 percent of its total mobile users.

The company is satisfied with its 5G penetration rate, Far EasTone president Ching Chee (井琪) said.

Far EasTone said that sales of iPhone 13 models were double that of the iPhone 12 series on launch.

Most iPhone buyers opted for its NT$1,399 package, it said.