In a relatively rare update between quarterly investor calls, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared insights with CNBC on the current state of iPhone sales in China, saying handset activations have accelerated over the past few weeks.
That's somewhat surprising given that consumers typically wait for the next iPhone models at this point in the buying cycle. New iPhones are expected to debut next month.
Cook's comments were sent directly to CNBC's Jim Cramer and were later shared via Twitter.
According to Cook, "Growth in iPhone activations has actually accelerated [in China] over the past few weeks, and we have had the best performance of the year for the App Store in China during the last 2 weeks." Apple's CEO also sees the future getting brighter as LTE penetration in the region grows alongside the rising number of middle class consumers in China.
Outside of China, I'd expect the typical "wait for new iPhones" behavior that we normally see.
Those who are ready to upgrade simply hold off for a month or two since it's a near certainty that the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models are likely arriving in September. In China however, Cook is right: LTE infrastructure is still in the early stages of expansion and the overall sales growth potential is still strong compared to other regions.
Indeed, the first of China's network operators only launched LTE service in December 2013, a full three years after the U.S. market.
And these days in the U.S., LTE is commonplace for the big four carriers. It took five years to get there. It's going to take longer in China given the country's much larger size and massive population.
For a while then, China will defy the "wait for an upgrade" mentality that's become more common around the world. And for Apple sales, that's a good thing.