Apple said it sold more than 2 million iPhone 5 units over the weekend in China, marking the company’s biggest product launch to date in the world’s biggest mobile market. The news came despite early reports of lackluster interest in the device late last week, which spooked some investors.
The successful launch didn’t immediately assuage the fears of shareholders, and the stock was trading this morning at its lowest point since February. Shares rebounded, however, and were up more than 4 percent by mid-afternoon.
But Apple’s prospects in the hugely promising market are still clouded by the lack of a deal with China Mobile. Network incompatibilities have played a role in preventing the world’s largest carrier from offering the iPhone to its 700 million-plus customers, but the company’s president said last week that technological impediments aren’t the only reason no deal has been struck. I think the two companies will eventually come to terms — there’s simply too much money at stake for both players — but until a deal is inked, Apple will continue to miss out on a huge audience.