Shipments of iPhones in China hit 11 million in Q3, a year-on-year increase of 40% that goes against the trend of diminishing smartphone sales in the market.
Apple has not seen an annual performance this strong since Q3 2015 in China. Following the launch of the iPhone 6S, the US-based firm’s growth tailed off in the market. The company’s new strategy of releasing multiple devices at the same time seems to be paying off, both editions of the iPhone 8 generating interest and outperforming the iPhone 7 series released last year.
However, research firm Canalys believes that Apple’s resurgence in fortune may not last, despite its release of three new devices this year.
Research analyst Mo Jia said: “Apple’s growth this quarter is only temporary. The high sell-in caters to the pent-up demand of iPhone upgraders in the absence of the iPhone X. Price cuts on earlier models after announcing the iPhone 8 have also helped. However, Apple is unlikely to sustain this growth in Q4.”
Additionally, hype for the iPhone X in China is being somewhat tempered by the device’s high price tag. “While the iPhone X launches this week, its pricing structure and supply are inhibiting interest. The iPhone X will enjoy a healthy grey market status, but its popularity is unlikely to help Apple in the short term”, added Jia.
For the third quarter, overall smartphone shipments were down 5% year-on-year to 119 million devices. The top three vendors saw the gap close between their market shares – Huawei is in the lead with 19%, but Oppo is just behind with 18%, and Vivo has 17%. Xiaomi and Apple take fourth and fifth place.