Apple iPhone 12 Launch Countdown: China Sees Significant iPhone Upgrade Potential

With Apple set to launch its newest flagship smartphone, rumored to be called the iPhone 12, during an online-only event on Oct. 14 (Beijing time), China could see a potential iPhone upgrade surge, according to Morgan Stanley. 

Analysts at Morgan Stanley said in a report published in August that more than 68% of iPhone users in China are using devices at least two years old, which is up nearly 8 percentage points from last year, and more than 20 percentage points from 2017, according to Morgan Stanley data.

The investment bank noted that this number has been the highest in at least four years and could indicate a significant upgrade potential. Other Wall Street analysts also endorsed the potential upgrade cycle for Apple in China.

The new iPhone is believed to debut with a boxier visual design, 5G wireless technology and faster processing chips. Multiple sizes and storage options will be offered with a range of prices. Removal of several in-box accessories such as a charger and EarPods may lead to a price drop, and a likely cheaper entry model than its iPhone 11 predecessor. 

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As 5G technology developed rapidly in China and became more accessible in the last year, the addition of 5G technology certainly stimulated the production of Apple’s newest smartphones. It was reported last month that the new model’s production was ramped up to full speed at Chinese factories to fulfill the sizable demands. 

Despite Apple’s sales in China taking a grave hit from the global coronavirus pandemic in February, when shopping malls were closed and stores were shut, it has seen a steady rebound since then, thanks to China’s quick recovery from the pandemic. iPhone’s China sales jumped 225% in the second quarter; and the consumption boom during the Golden Week, China’s 8-day National Day holiday, at the beginning of the month attested that China has recuperated from its economic dry spell and its level of consumption will continue to flourish.