Check out China's October mobile phone sales charts

From a note to clients by J.P. Morgan's Samik Chatterjee that landed on my desktop Friday:

China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) disclosed China mobile phone shipments for the month of October, which rose +12% m/m in the region (see Figure 1 and Figure 2 on Page 2). However, importantly, the increase was led by International brand shipments (primarily Apple), which rose a robust +247% m/m to 5.9 mn, which compares to a decline of -6% m/m to 20.3 mn for local brand shipments. (emphasis mine)

Please note that we view the CAICT data as only a directional view into volume trends, while absolute sales volumes reported by CAICT might differ from actual volumes, and the strength in iPhone volumes month-on-month is likely only partly an indication of both robust sell-through in late October, but more importantly expected robust demand by the channel with the 5G iPhone launches.

apple china phone sales
apple china phone sales

Maintains Overweight rating and Street-high $150 price target.

My take: Nice spike, even if it's only directional.


  1. Gregg Thurman said:
    This has to be encouraging to AAPL investors.

    November 13, 2020
  2. Bart Yee said:
    Not bad for Apple when one considers the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro were only available for pre-order on October 16 and available for purchase on October 23, essentially only 2 weeks total.

    Initial China online mix during the first week was reflected by one online seller in the link below, quoted as:

    “Fenqile is also taking pre-orders for the iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max, even though they’re not officially available until November.

    Out of all the pre-ordered iPhones, nearly 43% are iPhone 12 models and over 28% are iPhone 12 Pro models. Just under 19% are iPhone 12 Pro Max orders and nearly 10% are orders for the iPhone 12 Mini, the device with the smallest screen in the lineup.”

    I think that has changed in November as positive word of mouth reviews may have shifted more towards iPhone 12 Pro. When we get China November smartphone sales numbers which include recent Singles Day sales, and 3 weeks of iPhone 12 mini and Pro Max sales, I think we will see another 30-35% jump (to 7.67-7.96M, maybe touching 8.0M) MoM for “international” Re:Apple sales comparatively and I’d expect domestic sales to be up maybe 5-8%, regaining its September point. I base this on pent up iPhone demand, improving China economy and less perceived trade tension between US and China with new administration.

    November 13, 2020
    • Bart Yee said:
      I think Apple would be thrilled w/iPhone 12: 12 Pro: 12 Pro Max: Mini unit sales ratios of 40+%: 30+%: 20%: and 10% respectively for the China market. Without factoring China’s higher prices, that would suggest ASP using base model Prices of $909. Using a 50:40:10 Storage price mix for each model yields a $961 ASP.

      If we project 5.9M October, 7.5M November (27% MoM) and 9.0M December (20% MoM) sales, that would give 22.4M total China Q1 2021 units and $20.36-$21.5B Revenue! That would be an astounding 50-58% jump in total China revenue NOT accounting for any lower priced iPhone or additional product or services sales. It could also account for 27% of overall unit iPhone sales.

      Pretty optimistic of course but considering the recovering China market and 5G growth, I fully expect good things for Q1.

      November 13, 2020

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