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Will Chinese iPhone Sales Dominate Apple's Q1 Earnings Call?

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Will Chinese iPhone Sales Dominate Apple's Q1 Earnings Call?

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is less than 12 hours away from reporting the results from its fiscal first quarter, which covers the December sales period.

Analysts expect big things from the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which could help Apple achieve another new sales record.

UBS analysts think that Chinese consumers purchased more iPhones than anyone else. They estimate that 36 percent were sold in China versus 24 percent in the United Stats.

"I think the most important thing is iPhones, regardless of the region, always do better than they did before," Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry told Benzinga. "iPhone 6 will always do better than iPhone 5 irrespective of [the region] -- U.S., China, India, Europe, you name it. That is the beauty of Apple: the new version is always better than the previous version."

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Massive Market

Cody Willard, chairman of Scutify (a financial social network), recognized that China's smartphone market has eclipsed the United States.

"The size of the smartphone market in China has eclipsed that of the United States," Willard told Benzinga. "It's a sheer number thing. They have a much smaller percentage of people who use smartphones in China than we have here in the United States but the sheer number is bigger."

Long-term, Willard said he "couldn't care less" which country dominates, but he wants continued growth over the next five years.

"I wouldn't call it a drastic change," he said of a potential shift to China. "It needs to be the trend [of increasing sales] itself continuing. You look back at three years ago, the smartphone penetration in China was much less than it was today."

Willard said Apple needs to sell "hundreds of millions of iPhones" in five years.

"They need to have at least one quarter per year where they're looking at 100 million [units sold]," he added.

Domination Nation

Sean Udall, CIO of Quantum Trading Strategies and author of The TechStrat Report, told Benzinga that he fully expects China to be a larger market.

"I think there's three times the number of smartphone sales in China than in the U.S.," said Udall. "This might be the first quarter that it happens. It's the country they can gain, far and away, the most market share."

Udall said that China is "far and away" the country where apple can gain the most market share. He believes that growth in the United States and United Kingdom is limited because Apple already controls more than 50 percent of the market.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

 

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