Apple scores viral hit with Chinese New Year film ‘shot on an iPhone X’

A film claimed to have been shot entirely on an iPhone X has become a global hit for Apple in the build-up to Chinese New Year.

The seven-minute commercial, directed by celebrated Hong Kong filmmaker Peter Chan, hinges on a bittersweet homecoming theme as workers across China make the long journey back to their families for the holidays.

Entitled ‘Three Minutes’, the film depicts a train operator on China’s longest route, who gets to see her son for just three minutes when the train stops at her home station.

Once their brief encounter is over, the film ends with images of other families returning home for more substantial festive reunions. Since its release on February 1, the video has been viewed more than one million times on YouTube and sparked considerable discussion on the Chinese social network WeiBo.

Speculation into Apple’s claims that the film was shot just on an iPhone X also emerged on the Tencent-owned platform; images purported to show other equipment used by Chan, including a state-of-the-art camera stand and drone were widely shared among Weiao users. 

Apple’s release of the film also times with its recent results whereby it reported a reported a 9 per cent increase in revenue from a year ago in Greater China.

The results signal Apple’s first positive uplift in the region after suffering from a two-year dip in revenue between 2016 and 2017, as it faced increasing competition from local brands like Xiaomi, Oppo and Huawei.


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