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iPhone shipments in China rebound strongly, suggest strong iPhone 13 sales

Credit: Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

A strong resurgence in iPhone shipments in China during the month of October hints at a robust iPhone 13 cycle, according to investment bank JP Morgan.

In a note to investors seen by AppleInsider, JP Morgan's Samik Chatterjee analyzed the latest data disclosed by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT). The data bodes well for Apple's new iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro models.

During the month of October, CAICT said that international smartphone shipments in China — which is mostly comprised of Apple devices — reached 10.8 million units. That's much higher than the historical average of 6.1 million shipments, and it signals a departure from weaker iPhone shipments in the country in previous months.

Additionally, Chatterjee writes that October 2021 marked the highest monthly shipments of international smartphones in China since November 2014.

The rebound in international sales represents an 882% month-over-month increase, as well as a 83% year-over-year increase.

Smartphone shipments as a whole are also up 57% month-over-month, which is significantly higher than the average seasonal downtick of -1%.

In China, 5G-equipped devices increased 76% from the previous month and accounted for 79% of total shipments. On a year-over-year basis, shipments of 5G devices rose 58%.

Chatterjee maintains raised his Overweight rating for Apple and 12-month price target of $180, based on a price-to-earnings multiple of about 30x on JP Morgan's 2022 Apple earnings estimate of $6.