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China Unicom reveals first insight into new Apple iPhone demand

Reservations for Apple's iPhone 5C and 5S on China Unicom have exceeded 100,000 units, according to a new Reuters report.

Chinese telecom carrier China Unicom Hong Kong revealed the news in a post on China's Twitter-like microblogging site Sina Weibo, Reuters said. The figure represents the first indication of demand for Apple's new iPhone 5S and colourful 5C in the important Chinese market.

"Since Unicom began online preorders, order volumes have surpassed 100,000 units," the post on Unicom's Weibo account said. The company did not provide any other details.

Apple started accepting pre-orders for the 5C last Friday, but will not be taking pre-orders for the 5S. However, the company has just started taking advance reservations for the phone in China, meaning customers can order it now and pick it up in stores beginning 20 September, according to 9to5Mac. The reservation system was put in place for the iPhone 4S after fights broke out in China during previous iPhone launches.

It is unclear whether the 100,000 pre-orders reported by Reuters includes official iPhone 5C pre-orders, or just in-store pickup reservations.

Meanwhile, Apple itself has yet to reveal iPhone 5C pre-order numbers, which some have interpreted to mean that demand for the new smartphone is low. The company could, however, just be waiting until after Friday's release to announce figures.

Last year, Apple was quick to boast that pre-orders of its iPhone 5 topped two million in just 24 hours, more than doubling the previous record set by the iPhone 4S.

Apple iPhone launches have typically attracted lines around the globe, but pre-orders mean the infamous lines at Apple retail stores have dwindled a bit in recent years.

Even so, in New York, the line at the flagship Fifth Avenue store is already pretty deep, according to Twitter chatter.