Despite 'lackluster' iPhone 14 series demand, Apple totally crushed it in China last quarter

Despite 'lackluster' iPhone 14 series demand, Apple totally crushed it in China last quarter
As the world's most populous country and the single biggest smartphone market, China has captured a large chunk of Apple's non-domestic advertising, distribution, and even production focus in the last few years.

While the world's number two handset vendor hasn't managed to achieve and retain a similar position in the Chinese mobile industry yet, all those efforts to appeal to the region's largely budget-conscious audience are clearly starting to pay off.

Between July and September 2022, for instance, Apple was ranked fourth in terms of Mainland China smartphone shipments, with a significantly higher share compared to both Q3 2021 and Q2 2022. The company's 11.3 percent slice of the juicy local pie was only slightly smaller than what Honor captured in third place, which was itself narrowly behind Oppo's silver medal result and even Vivo's first-place showing.

More impressively, Apple was the country's lone top five player to see its actual smartphone sales expand from the July - September 2021 timeframe, which couldn't stop the market as a whole from shrinking by a pretty substantial 11 percent.

Quarterly iPhone shipments jumped no less than 36 percent year-on-year, mind you, which is absolutely breathtaking if you consider the current state of the mobile industry amid various geopolitical issues and a constant condition of macroeconomic instability.

Intriguingly enough, Apple may have registered that massive progress despite the iPhone 14 series rather than thanks to it, with early demand for the latest and greatest iOS handsets in the region described as "lackluster."

That probably means the third-generation iPhone SE and the even older iPhone 13 and 12 families continued to sell like hotcakes in China, improving Apple's volumes while weakening those crucial profit margins.

It remains to be seen, of course, if Apple will retain and perhaps further sweeten the "aggressive promotions of its entry-level editions and previous generation devices" that made all this possible or shift its focus primarily on making the iPhone 14 lineup a box-office hit. Either way, the company's Q4 2022 supremacy is pretty much guaranteed after last year's spectacular final three-month result.

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