Apple gained significant ground in China despite a seasonal decline in the region's total smartphone industry, investment bank JP Morgan claims.
In a note to investors seen by AppleInsider, lead analyst Samik Chatterjee highlights two recent data sources that suggest Apple's increasing strength in China. That includes a monthly China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) report for the month of December 2020, and a recent supply chain report from DigiTimes.
The CAICT data, Chatterjee says, indicates that smartphone shipments declined about 10% from the previous month in December. International brand shipments, which is thought to be mostly composed of Apple devices, dropped 13%, while local manufacturer shipments dropped 9%.
Shipments declined to 20.6 million units, though Chatterjee says that's to be expected on account of "normalization of trends post-holiday purchases."
However, more importantly for Apple in the fourth quarter of 2020, CAICT data suggests that international shipments are tracking at 18.8 million units. That would represent a 48% year-over-year increase. That year-over-year increase, compared to the decline in the total shipments, implies "strong share gains for Apple."
Additionally, Chatterjee says this theory is supported by a recent DigiTimes report that suggested Apple sold 18 million smartphone units in Q4 2020. Similar to the CAICT data, that would be about a 50% increase from the prior year.
Per the CAICT data, international mobile phone shipments moderated to 6 million units in December. That's down from 6.9 million units in November and about on-par with 5.9 million units in October. All together, that data suggests aggregate shipment volume in the fourth quarter to be about 18 million units.
Throughout the 2020 calendar year, 5G smartphones made up about 162.8 million shipments and accounted for 53% of overall devices shipped.
Chatterjee is maintaining his 12-month AAPL price target of $150, based on JP Morgan's 2022 earnings-per-share estimate of $4.90 and a blended price-to-earnings multiple of about 31x.