iPhone sales are finally rebounding in China

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iPhone sales are finally rebounding in China
iPhone sales struggled in China last year.
Photo: Tim Cook/Weibo

iPhone sales seem to be rebounding in China. According to a new report, based on government data, Apple shipped 10 million iPhones in China during September and October. That’s an increase of 6% from one year earlier.

It indicates that the iPhone 11 series is seemingly selling better the its predecessors, the iPhone XR and iPhone XS. Those were the handsets that caused Tim Cook to cut Apple forecasts due to weaker than expected sales in China.

Overall, iPhone sales in China dropped 13 percent in 2018.

The figures were published by Bloomberg, using data from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology. This is run by China’s technology ministry. This department has access to detailed information on smartphone shipments, due to the permits it has to provide.

“Chinese customers seem to be receiving the iPhone 11 series better than last year’s models because of the lowered retail price,” said Nicole Peng, a Canalys analyst. “We see weaker shipments for old models but the latest products are going strong.”

The figures compare favorably to overall smartphone shipments in China, which dropped 5% during the two months in question. It’s worth nothing, of course, that “sales” and “shipments” aren’t the same thing. But Apple tends to be pretty good on its forecasting, which avoids massive piles of unsold inventory stacking up. Increased shipments most likely mean increased sales, too.

iPhone sales in China are on the up

Cheaper prices are likely to be one thing working in Apple’s favor. Apple lowered the entry price for the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro by $50. It also increased camera quality, which helped the iPhone better measure up to phones made by Google and Huawei.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about rebounding iPhone sales in China. Recently, the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max were two of the top-selling products on Singles Day, the Alibaba version of Amazon’s Prime Day.

During Apple’s most recent earnings call, Tim Cook said that its new devices have been “extremely well received” in the country.

Source: Bloomberg