China may have been a bit late to the iPhone 6 party due to a drawn-out regulatory approval period, but it seems the wait was worth it — both for Chinese customers and Tim Cook’s wallet.
Ahead of what should be a blockbuster earnings call for Apple on January 27, UBS analysts are predicting that the holiday season will be the quarter in which China finally sold more iPhones than the U.S.
It’s not going to be a close-run competition either, if UBS is to believed. According to their numbers, China is set to account for 36 per cent of worldwide iPhone shipments in the last three months of 2014, compared to 24 percent in the U.S. By comparison, last year 29 percent of iPhone units were sold in the U.S., next to just 22 percent in China.
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus landed in China on Friday, October 17 — helping put an end to one month’s worth of black market sales of the handsets, which some commentators laughably predicted had exhausted demand for the whole of China.
We won’t know these numbers for sure until tomorrow, of course, but once sales swing in China’s favor they are unlikely to reverse any time soon. No wonder Tim Cook is so keen to invest in the country — or that Apple recently beat out Samsung to be named China’s most popular brand.