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Fear no lightning: iPhone 5 a new business engine (3)

By Li Qiaoyi (Global Times)

08:31, September 29, 2012

New business engine

Sharp-nosed businessmen also know the market potential well, with some early birds already moving into the iPhone 5's accessory arena.

"The newly designed cases for the iPhone 5 will go on sale via our online mall as early as the end of the month," a company official surnamed Qi at Shenzhen GGMM Industrial Co, a licensed accessory supplier for Apple products, told the Global Times.

"Consumer demand for the new iPhone's accessories still exists in the mainland market, although officials sales of the new gadget have yet to start," Qi said, pointing to sales of the iPhone in the country's huge grey market.

The aftermarket battery items for the iPhone won't be available until mid-October, according to Qi, who explained that "the battery products need to be adaptable to the Lightning port, which will take a longer period of time to develop than usual."

Xiao Dingbang, brand manager of Shenzhen-based Hali-Power Industrial Co, an Apple-licensed aftermarket battery maker, is tight-lipped about a new product portfolio for the iPhone 5, citing the company's confidentiality agreement with Apple.

But Xiao expressed confidence over growth opportunities spurred by the new phone, despite a lukewarm market outlook on the new iPhone's sales in the mainland. "It would certainly be a new growth engine for our business," Xiao said in a phone interview with the Global Times.

"The new iPhone would serve to be a boon for the giant accessories industry that has popped up around Apple's products, and the Chinese market would also be a key battleground for those doing business in the field, given the booming smartphone market out there," said Kevin Wang, director of China research at IHS iSuppli in Shanghai.

China will overtake the US as the world's top country-level marketplace for smartphones in 2012, IDC predicted in a research note at the end of August. Shipment of smartphones in China's market is estimated to account for 26.5 percent of global shipments this year, while the US's share will stand at 17.8 percent, IDC said.

"Accessories for Apple's products contribute to most of our sales revenue, and the Chinese market is expected to see more shipments than any other market," said GGMM's Qi, without revealing details. The manufacturer, which has a global sales network, also sells products for other brands including South Korea's Samsung and Taiwan's HTC.

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