iPhone 5 debuts in Taiwan

Taipei, Dec. 14 (CNA) Apple Inc.'s newest version of the iPhone went on sale at Taiwan's top three telecom operators and retailers Friday to the delight of local Apple fans. Hundreds of people were lined up outside the Taipei flagship stores of Chunghwa Telecom Co., Taiwan Mobile Co. and Far EasTone Telecommunications Co. hours before opening time in order to get their hands on the new phones. At the front of the line outside the Chunghwa Telecom store was a 24-year-old man surnamed Lu. He started lining up at around 5 a.m. on Thursday. "I'm going to give the phone to my mother tomorrow as a birthday gift,"said Lu, who has been a customer of Chunghwa Telecom for 14 years. Local variety show star Lo Pei-yin was among the people lining up at the Taiwan Mobile store. She said she has been using Apple's smartphones since the iPhone 4 was launched in Taiwan two years ago. At the Far EasTone store, Andrew Lee, 26, said he began to line up at about 6 a.m. Friday. An Apple fan since the launch of iPhone 3GS three years ago, Lee said he is used to Apple's iOS platform and will buy a black iPhone 5 with a 32-gigabyte (GB) storage capacity. The iPhone 5 starts at NT$21,900 (US$753) for a 16GB model, NT$25,500 for a 32GB model and NT$28,900 for a 64GB model, according to Apple's website. On Dec. 3, the U.S. electronics giant announced that Taiwan is among the 50 countries in which Apple is planning to roll out its 4-inch iPhone 5 this month. Chunghwa Telecom and Far EasTone estimated that they will likely sell 100,000 units of the iPhone 5 each by the end of December, while Taiwan Mobile declined to forecast its sales. (By Jeffrey Wu)