China loves the iPhone right now. Demand was up 230% in September

iPhone 11 Pro
iPhone 11 Pro (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Chinese iPhone sales are up 230%.
  • That compares to 110% last year.
  • Users are upgrading from old iPhone 7 handsets.

Apple seems to have a hit on its hands with iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro and that's being further borne out in China. According to UBS analyst Timothy Arcuri iPhone sales were up 230% in September.

That's already a huge number, but comparing it with the 110% figure from 2018 further drives home the point that this year is very different. According to the analyst (via Philip Elmer-DeWitt) users upgrading from aging iPhone 7 models is one of the key reasons for the huge sales numbers.

Monthly government data suggests overall iPhone demand in China was strong in the month of September, up ~230% vs. ~110% monthly growth last September. This is wholly consistent with recent procurement data/estimates from the UBS Asia Hardware team....Several factors are contributing to strong iPhone demand including a better trade-in program from Apple, a more attractive price-point for the base model, services bundle with hardware, and given the largest mix of phones in the install base (iPhone 7) is three generations old.

Supplies of iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro for online ordering remain low, although stocks do appear to be arriving in-store slowly. DeWitt ponders whether iPhone stocks are low, or demand is high. I'd agree with his assessment that it's the latter.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.