Thailand’s mobile operators and IT retailers have been optimistic about the new iPhone 13’s local launch, as they believe Apple’s novel devices may encourage people to switch to 5G phones, boosting smartphone sales during this year’s last quarter.
The brand’s new models went on sale nationwide on Friday, with mobile carriers launching major discount campaigns to attract new users. Their offers included low upfront payments for postpaid subscribers and monthly installments of up to 60 months.
The latest iPhones arrived in Thailand earlier than expected. Apple typically announces and releases its new models in the US in September, but they usually arrive in Thailand in late October or November.
Now, Thais can find the brand’s models at Apple’s recently launched official store in LazMall, Lazada’s premium-brand-focused e-marketplace, and other local shops across the territory.
Pratthana Leelapanang, chief consumer business officer of Advanced Info Service (AIS), the country’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, said: “We believe iPhone 13 line-up will help people upgrade from 4G handsets similar to last year when many switched to the 5G -enabled iPhone 12.”
Moreover, the iPhone 13 promotion may also encourage customers to switch to 5G-enabled handsets, he added.
Apple customers, who are also heavy data users, have relied more on the AIS mobile network. “We truly believe customers will get the best benefit of new iPhones using the best 5G network,” Mr. Pratthana added.
On Friday, AIS hosted a socially distanced drive-through event at Stadium One, located in Pathumwan district, using K9 robots to deliver the novel iPhones 13 to customers.
Thailand’s second-largest mobile phone operator True Corporation offered drone delivery services and organized a drive-through event at Lan Khon Mueang outside City Hall.
Total Access Communication (DTAC), the country’s third-largest mobile phone operator, deployed a delivery caravan to deliver Apple’s new devices to its customers.
Apple stores at Iconsiam and CentralWorld opened at 8:00 a.m. on Friday to welcome the brand’s hardcore, loyal fans. However, both stores were forced to limit the number of visitors inside due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sura Khanittaweekul, chief executive of SET-listed Com7, an IT retail chain, said the number of pre-orders for iPhone 13 models was higher than those for iPhone 12 last year. He added that the first sales of Apple’s new devices series could boost the company’s operating results to record levels in the fourth quarter.
Starting prices for new iPhones range from 25,900 baht for the Mini model to 42,900 baht for the Pro Max.