China Mobile data points to strong quarter for Apple’s iPhone

“Unlike iPhone supply chain rumors, China’s three major mobile phone carriers provide hard numbers on subscribers and subscriber growth on a monthly basis,” Mark Hibben writes for Seeking Alpha. “Subscriber growth for 3G/4G services continues to be strong, indicating continuing y/y growth in the Greater China market for Apple’s iPhone.”

“Quarterly 4G customer additions have been running at an enormous rate of 50 million or better at China Mobile for most of the year since 2014 Q4,” Hibben writes. “Most importantly, except for some slowdown in 2015 Q2, when there was so much concern about the Chinese economy, that customer growth has continued to accelerate through calendar 2015 Q4.”

“What I think is important about the 4G customer growth at China Mobile is that despite the fact that China Mobile’s 4G customers grew by 49 million in 2014 Q4, it still grew by nearly 32% more than that in 2015 Q4, or 64.6 million customers,” Hibben writes. “The 4G smartphone market is the market segment that iPhone addresses, and China Mobile’s data indicates that this market segment grew by a substantial 32% y/y, regardless of what might have been going on in the overall smartphone market in China in the December quarter.”

“I doubt very much that Apple lost any market share in China in calendar 2015 Q4. According to Kantar’s most recent data, Apple’s market share increased slightly in the three months ending in October 2015 (at 22.9%) compared to the three months ending in July (at 19.1%),” Hibben writes. “If Apple grows its unit sales in China proportional to segment growth (~30%), then it will increase unit sales in China from 13.2 to 17.2 million for the December quarter.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Four days to go and, hopefully, we’ll have some “analysts” eating crow!

Apple to release Q116 earnings, webcast live conference call on January 26th – January 22, 2016


  1. I wonder when the analysts are going to up their estimates so they can be “disappointed”. You are running out of time guys, Tuesday is rapidly approaching. Or, have you changed strategies and beat the price down enough before earnings with the recent FUD for your patrons to make their money on the bounce?

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