iPhone demand outpacing broader smartphone market in China, analyst says

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Apple iPhone demand in China is continuing to accelerate while outpacing the broader and rebounding smartphone industry in the country, according to JP Morgan.

In a note to investors seen by AppleInsider, JP Morgan analyst Samik Chatterjee analyzes the latest smartphone sales data released from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT). The newest batch of data represents the month of June.

The data shows that international smartphone shipments, which are mostly comprised of Apple devices, reached 3.5 million units in June. That's a jump from the monthly historical average of 2.3 million units.

Although shipments were down 17% month-over-month, they're still doing a lot better than the typical seasonal downtick of 52% from May to June, Chatterjee says. As far as quarterly numbers, the June quarter saw international shipments increase 24% year-over-year.

The entire iPhone 13 cycle also appears to be tracking higher than usual. According to the analyst, shipments are clocking in at 44.1 million, 17% higher than past release cycles.

"Second consecutive month of better than seasonal shipments, with positive y/y growth for the first time since December, could be an early sign of pickup in demand in China, however, as some of the demand could be due to reopening of lockdowns, it is worth monitoring y/y growth into next months to confirm on demand recovery," the analyst writes.

Overall shipments in China, including domestic vendors, are starting to rebound as well. The data shows that mobile phone shipments increased 35% month-over-month from May to June, tracking higher than the seasonal average as well.

Chatterjee is maintaining his 12-month Apple of $200. The target price is based on a price-to-earnings multiple of 30x on his 2023 earnings estimate of $6.73.