Apple will be making its quarterly earnings call on Tuesday, and the tech giant is expected to reveal to the public that for the first time in its history, it has sold more iPhones in China than in the United States.
As reported by the Financial Times, there are a couple of reasons for this. One is the deal struck by China Mobile (the largest major wireless carrier in China) and its then-760 million customer base back in December 2013 to have a network-compatible iPhone. The other reason is the increasing popularity of large-screened mobile devices, which led to the launch of the two new iPhone models, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, both of which feature display screens with generous sizes.
Generally, mobile devices with bigger display screens sell more in Asian regions than in other parts of the world. Even before pre-orders were opened in China for the two new iPhones, there were already 4 million reservations from excited Chinese consumers.
According to the Financial Times report, analysts from the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) are expecting that the gap between China's iPhone sales and US's will be significant. The Chinese market should account for 36 percent of all iPhone shipments in the most recent quarter, compared with 24 percent for the American market. If you compare those percentages with the same period last year, the US had a 29 percent share of the shipments, while China had 22 percent.
Obviously, because it is such a big country with a very large population, China has always been considered an important market not only for Apple, but for other phone makers too like Samsung and LG.
Also, apart from its population (which is about four times larger than the US's), much of the Chinese market consists of relatively young consumers -- exactly the type of demographic that would be willing to spend for a new iPhone device.
Moreover, this young segment is increasing in number, too. It would hardly be a surprise if in the few years, China's iPhone sales will continue to trump American sales.
It is also interesting to note that the iPhone's ballooning market share in China comes even as it tries to fend off threats from Chinese phone makers, especially Xiaomi whose low-cost smartphone offerings always look to sway Chinese buyers from purchasing the rather expensive iPhone devices. As for Samsung, Apple's closest rival in terms of global market share -- the South Korean phone maker has been dealing with middling revenues lately, and it appears that it will not be making any dent on Apple's iPhone sales in China anytime soon.
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