Apple  iPhone 11 ProSource: 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.