China was a knockout success for Apple in the fourth quarter where demand for its latest iPhones propelled a 70 percent on-year rise in revenue, and analysts are now tipping the first quarter to be even better.
Gift-buying in the lead up to Chinese New Year holiday, which falls on February 19-20, will likely drive iPhone sales even higher this quarter, say analysts. The first quarter is typically the strongest for smartphone sales in the mainland due to the holiday season.
"Apple has not yet reached its maximum level in China. January and February is the big shopping season leading up to Chinese New Year," said Tom Kang. "I think the first quarter may be even bigger than the fourth quarter for Apple."
Apple generated $16.1 billion in revenue from Greater China– which includes China, Hong Kong and Taiwan – in the three months to December – up from $9.5 billion in the same period a year earlier. The region accounted for 22 percent of the company's overall revenues.