April 4, 2014
Interest in the iPhone 5s in China is waning, six months after the handset was first released. At the same time, interest in Chinese brand smartphones is gaining strength in the world’s largest consumer market, according to MacRumors. On a tour of China, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White says that demand for Apple’s signature product has been “disappointing.” That should change later this year, however, when Apple is expected to launch a larger, redesigned “iPhone 6.” In a note to investors, White says:
In the near term, we sensed disappointment around demand for the iPhone 5S. That said, we heard great enthusiasm around the potential for Apple to introduce a larger iPhone form factor in China this year with the iPhone 6. In our view, the iPhone 6 with a larger screen (e.g., 4.7-inch, 5.5-inch) has the potential to meaningfully accelerate Apple's growth trajectory in China during 2H:14. We have not heard this type of excitement in China around the iPhone in at least two years and thus we believe this could be a very special iPhone launch for Apple.China is very important to Apple. In January, CEO Tim Cook was on hand when China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier, began selling iPhones. Even then, Cook was asked about his company's next handset. As Joe White said at the time:
He was then asked about the prospect of a larger iPhone handset launching from Apple later this year – a possibility that the Chinese smartphone market, in particular, is said to be incredibly interested in. Unsurprisingly, Cook dodged the question: “We never talk about future things. We have great things we are working on but we want to keep them secret. That way you will be so much happier when you see it,” he answered.The iPhone 6 is expected to launch this fall. See also: Apple Launches TD-LTE iPad Air, iPad mini Models In China, China Mobile Added 1 Million iPhone Users To Its 4G Network Last Month, and AppAdvice International: Tax In Britain, The Maps App, China Mobile And More.