We have written before about why many carriers hate the iPhone but sell it anyway because it is a necessary evil. Even though the iPhone is now more than six years old, it appears as though Apple still has the upper hand when negotiating deals with carriers and many aren’t happy about it. According to a new report from Digitimes, Apple’s new iPhone 5s will likely be released by several top carriers in Taiwan between October and mid-November. While Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, Far EasTone Telecommunications will all reportedly carry the new flagship iPhone, they “seem to be less enthusiastic about marketing the iPhone 5s compared with previous Apple products,” according to the report. There are several reasons for this supposed newfound lack of enthusiasm, not the least of which is the iPhone’s steep subsidy that eats into carriers’ margins.
“Due to a lack of new features available on iPhone 5s compared to the previous iPhone 5, as well as a variety of new models from other vendors, local carriers are not hurry to sign purchase deals with Apple, said the sources. Local carriers are also reportedly reluctant to increase their subsidies for contract-bundle sales of iPhone 5s, and instead, they are asking Apple for better terms for the purchases of iPhone 5s,” Digitimes’ Steve Shen wrote.
Each of Taiwan’s top three carriers will reportedly place initial orders for between 20,000 and 30,000 iPhone 5s units. Apple announced last month that it sold more than 9 million new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c handsets combined through their first weekend of availability. Taiwanese carriers’ orders are minuscule by comparison, and the unprecedented demand for iPhones is why Apple continues to have the upper hand when negotiating with carriers.