iPhone 12 supercycle depends on China: analyst
Out of all the top five smartphone vendors during the second quarter in China, Apple was the only one without a 5G handset. The iPhone 11 helped the company increase its market share to the highest level since 2018, and Q1 data shows that the handset remained the best-selling model in the country for 7 months straight.
In the first half of 2020, Apple and Huawei had a market share of 44 percent each in the $600+ category in China. It is currently the world's largest 5G smartphone market, according to analytics firm CCS Insight. The economy is also back on its pre-pandemic trajectory, and consumer spending is recovering. Most of the world's markets are still struggling in this regard, which makes China all the more important for Apple and other handset sellers.
Per IDC executive Will Wong, nearly half of the smartphones sold in China during Q2 were 5G-enabled. The Chinese market is expected to account for 67.7 percent of 5G smartphone shipments in 2020. Since the iPhone 12 is Apple's first 5G-enabled phone, it will likely continue attracting demand in the country.
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are expected to be the most popular models in China
Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives, who had said in June this year that 350 million out of the 950 million active iPhones out there are due for an upgrade, believes that the Chinese market is the linchpin to iPhone's 5G supercycle. He expects 20 percent of iPhone upgrades to come from China in the coming year.
The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are expected to be the most popular models in the country because of their larger 6.1-inch displays. The 6.7-inch screen iPhone 12 Pro Max may not attract that much attention because of its high price.
Wong also believes that it's a good move on Apple's part to release the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro before the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Early reports suggest that Apple's new phones are off to a good start and will attract more buyers than the iPhone 11.