Tim Cook: We Underestimated Chinese Demand for iPhone 4S

When Apple’s iPhone 4S went on Sale in China on January 12th, many were taken by surprise at the sheer number of people that turned up to buy one.

The chaos was so bad in fact, that Apple was forced to close its stores amid safety concerns – a move which simply angered those who had queued for hours, resulting in eggs being hurled at the store’s windows.

Now Apple CEO Tim Cook has admitted that the company had underestimated the “staggering” demand for its iPhone in the country, and that they thought they had already overcooked sales estimates…

“We thought we were betting bold,” Cook said about sales of the device in China on a conference call yesterday. “We didn’t bet high enough.”

After the goings on at its stores in Beijing and Shanghai, Apple suspended sales of the iPhone 4S to ensure safety. Cook said on a conference call yesterday that his team thought they “were betting bold,” but in the end, they simply “didn’t bet high enough.”

With demand for the iPhone in China currently “off the charts,” Apple is offering the phone via its online stores and also through its carrier partners in the country.

Sales have been similarly strong across the globe, with supply struggling to keep up with demand until very recently.

Tim Cook was speaking during Apple’s quarterly earnings call, during which the company announced huge sales and profits for the latest quarter.

[Business Week]