As people around the world were preparing for Christmas last week, Apple was getting ready for its last iPhone 5 rollout of 2012. And on December 21st, three months after its debut, the handset launched in its 101st country.
You can now buy Apple’s latest smartphone in Barbados, Cameroon, Egypt, Uganda and several other new markets. But you wouldn’t know it by looking at the interwebs, as this was one of the quietest iPhone 5 launches yet…
Here’s your full list of December 21st launch countries:
Barbados, Botswana, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Egypt, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St.Vincent & the Grenadines, Tunisia, Uganda and Vietnam.
Fortune’s Philip Elmer-Dewitt points out that a scan of YouTube or Google News doesn’t produce any kind of iPhone 5 launch day videos, or impressive opening weekend stats, from any of these countries. Gadget blog Vietnam.net confirms:
“The iPhone 5 was not too “hot” as the iPhone 4 in Vietnam two years ago. This product only attracted a moderate number of visitors to the store this morning.
Mrs. Thu Ha from Kim Dong Street, Hanoi, said she went to the store at 6am but it was not so hard to wait and queue as two years ago, when she bought the iPhone 4 at a store of Vinaphone.”
The news by itself isn’t troubling — after all, Apple has set launch day records in a few countries with its new handset. But when you combine it with recent reports that the company has recently cut iPhone 5 orders, it’s a bit vexing.
Apple’s stock price has dropped $200 per share in the last few months. And it’s believed that the only way it can make any of that back is if it has a big holiday quarter — particularly in iPhone sales. Predictions are in the 50 million range.
But can Apple deliver? I think the odds are in its favor. In its fastest product rollout ever, Apple has launched the iPhone 5 in over 100 countries in just three months. Even if it only managed to sell half a million in each country, it’d be set.
Either way, it’ll be interesting to hear what the company has to say during its earnings call next month. There’s a lot riding on it.