Analyst: China iPhone sales are pivotal for Apple

“With Apple marking the 10th anniversary of the iPhone this week, one of the looming questions for CEO Tim Cook is whether the company can revive sales in China,” Chris Nolter reports for TheStreet.

“After two sluggish years, UBS expects sales in the Chinese market to rebound sharply and drive a global increase in sales of the iconic smartphone,” Nolter reports. “‘How the iPhone fares in China is the swing factor regarding our forecast for 15% unit growth in [fiscal year 2018],’ UBS analyst Steven Milunovich wrote. Though unit sales in China have dropped 20% in each of the past two years, the analyst expects a 30% improvement there this fiscal year.”

“‘China has been about the only place Apple has been losing share,’ Milunovich wrote,” Nolter reports. “The elements for a rebound are in place, the analyst suggests. About 40 million users will have iPhones that are at least two years old… ‘”Consumer buying patterns support higher-priced phones, and the installed base is older than ever,’ Milunovich wrote regarding Apple’s potential for a break-out fiscal year 2018.”

Read more in the full article here.

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4 Comments

  1. WeChat has completely destroyed iPhone sales in China. WeChat doesn’t require high-end iPhones. Chinese consumers will be quite happy using low-cost Android smartphones to do WeChat. Apple never had a clue that Chinese consumers would be doing everything using just one mobile app. All those hundreds of thousands of iOS apps are no longer necessary for most Chinese users. Apple should have been able to design an app like WeChat but now it’s too late. WeChat has become the foundation app of mobile China and the iPhone has been mostly abandoned by the Chinese consumer.

    Forget $1000 iPhones. The Chinese consumer can do everything they need to do with WeChat and a $100 Android smartphone. There will be no revival of iPhone sales in China even with the latest and greatest iPhone X coming. The domestic Chinese smartphone manufacturers will continue to hold and likely grow market share. I expect a similar thing to take place in India. One basic app used with cheap Android smartphones. Wall Street realizes this Chinese dilemma for Apple and Apple will be downgraded accordingly. Tim Cook should never have allowed iPhone dependency to reach such high levels at Apple.

  2. Chinese people still need security, which Android does not provide. Also, Chinese people are image conscious — another advantage for Apple. There is truth in what you say about WeChat, but the game is not over. With WeChat the digital economy in China will grow alot, and maybe innovate too. If Apple is smart then they will find ways to show leadership where Android cannot. These are interesting times!

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