iPhone 8 helps Apple bounce back in China: But is it a trend or just a blip?

Apple finally ends a year and a half of declining iPhone sales in China.

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The iPhone 8 has helped Apple sell 40 percent more phones in China and break a year and a half run of declining sales in the market, according to analyst firm Canalys.

Apple sold 11 million iPhones in China in the third quarter, up from eight million in the corresponding quarter last year. It was Apple's best result in China in the past two years, according to Canalys.

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In the second quarter, Apple's revenues had grown in all regions except for China, where sales were down 14 percent year over year to $10.7bn.

While several North American carriers have reported slower sales of the iPhone 8 compared with previous models, Canalys says in China iPhone 8 sales have been higher than the corresponding iPhone 7 figures at launch.

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners last week reported iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus sales made up 16 percent of US iPhone sales in the third quarter. It said the iPhone 7 series accounted for 43 percent in the same timeframe last year.

Canalys warned that Apple's third-quarter performance might not be repeated in coming months despite growing excitement in China over the iPhone X, which is currently available for pre-order and goes on sale on November 3.

"Apple's growth this quarter is only temporary. The high sell-in caters to the pent-up demand of iPhone upgraders in the absence of the iPhone X. Price cuts on earlier models after announcing the iPhone 8 have also helped. However, Apple is unlikely to sustain this growth in Q4," Canalys research analyst Mo Jia said in a statement.

Jia added that iPhone X supplies and its pricing structure are "inhibiting" for Apple's near-term prospects.

Overall smartphone shipments in China fell by five percent year over year to 119 million units, according to Canalys. The largest vendor in China is Huawei, which shipped 23 million units, followed by Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, and Apple.

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Apple sold 11 million iPhones in China in the third quarter, up from eight million in the same quarter in 2016.

Image: Canalys

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