Iphone Se 2020 Home ButtonSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • Apple's iPhone sales rocketed 160% in April compared to March in China.
  • Apple reportedly sold 3.9 million phones in the country.
  • The report warns that there could still be rocky times ahead for Apple elsewhere.

A report suggests that Apple's iPhone sales in China rocketed 160% in April compared to March, suggesting Apple's retail operation may be on the road to recovery in the country.

As reported by CNBC:

Apple sales in China continued to recover in April, thanks in part to the release of a cheaper iPhone.

It comes as the world's second-largest economy slowly reopens again after the coronavirus forced store closures earlier this year that caused sales to plummet.

The report notes that February was a tough month for Apple, with sales falling 60% compared to last year for the iPhone in China. February marked the peak of the outbreak, and Apple stores were closed for a number of weeks. Since reopening stores in mid-March, Apple has reportedly sold 1.5 million smartphones in March, and 3.9 million in April.

According to the report, the iPhone SE was one of the biggest reasons for the jump, CINNO Research stating that the latest handset from Apple accounted for "24% of all of Apple's 3.9 million iPhone sales in April." The SE accounted for 8% of shipments in April, but one analyst cautioned that this may not necessarily reflect demand.

Despite the big jump, the pandemic could have a big impact on China for the rest of the year:

"It's still tough. It's tough not only for Apple but also all smartphone makers. For Apple it's tough because right now, the economic situation is not so good and consumer sentiment has not fully returned to the normal levels," Wong said.

He added that consumers may choose mid-to-low-range smartphone models. Apple has only one device in that category — the iPhone SE — whereas other vendors, such as Chinese phone-makers Xiaomi or Huawei, can cater to customers looking for cheaper handsets.

The suggestion here is that due to financial pressures, savvy customers may turn away from the iPhone towards cheaper vendors like Xiaomi or Huawei.