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Kuo: iPhone 14 demand in China will be stronger than iPhone 13

Published Jul 1st, 2022 7:31AM EDT
An iPhone 13 Pro on a table next to Apple AirPods
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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The iPhone has been a strong seller throughout the pandemic, with the iPhone 11, iPhone 12, and iPhone 13 selling incredibly well in the past few years. Apple’s momentum will continue with the upcoming generations of iPhones, with analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expecting strong sales. The iPhone 14 might dwarf the iPhone 13 when it comes to the demand in one of Apple’s key markets. That’s China, where Apple has been quite successful at selling the iPhone 13.

The 2021 handset propelled Apple to the top of the Chinese smartphone market during the holiday 2021 quarter. The iPhone 13’s performance is all the more impressive in the current economic landscape, where various Android device makers are dealing with a slowdown in sales. During the same period, the main Android vendors experienced significant drops in sales, while Apple’s market share for Q4 2021 grew by nearly 80%.

Fast forward to April, and reports claimed that Apple was increasing the production of its most expensive iPhones, the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. The handsets continued to see great demand, although the production increase wasn’t tied to China. However, Apple boosted production when China was imposing new strict COVID-19 lockdowns that impacted logistics and production lines.

More recently, the iPhone dominated sales in China during the 6.18 sales festival. According to reports, out of the 14 million smartphones sold during the shopping event, 7 million were iPhones.

iPhone 14 Pro 3D Renders
iPhone 14 Pro 3D renders: New notch design and rear-camera. Image source: Technizo Concept and LetsGoDigital

iPhone 14 demand to soar in China

Ming-Chi Kuo is well-known for the accurate predictions in recent years concerning various unreleased Apple products. Kuo has often focused on the iPhone in his remarks, successfully leveraging his connections to Apple’s supply chain sources in Asia.

The analyst took to Twitter to detail his latest findings about the iPhone 14. Kuo said that the demand for iPhone 14 might be stronger than the iPhone 13, considering what he had learned from distributors, retailers, and scalpers:

My latest survey indicates that some Chinese distributors/retailers/scalpers have to pay the highest prepaid deposit ever for iPhone 14 to ensure a sufficient supply, implying the iPhone 14 demand in the Chinese market will likely be higher than expected.

He explained that the iPhone 14 prepaid deposit is “significantly higher than the iPhone 13. In some areas, it might be twice as high.

The analyst says that Apple should manufacture some 90 million iPhone 14 units during the second half of 2022. Kuo added that the solid demand in China may reduce market concerns about the risk of order cuts following the iPhone 14 launch.

Kuo’s predictions are all the more interesting, considering the high inflation and recession worries out there. It’s against this backdrop that Apple will release one of the most daring iPhone lines so far. The iPhone 14 Pro and non-Pro models will be more different than ever. And Apple might hike the prices, at least for the Pro variants.

But if demand in China is as strong as Kuo indicates, the iPhone 14 should sell very well in other key Apple markets.

More Apple coverage: For more Apple news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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