iPhone 6 accessories: A billion-dollar market in China

The market size of iPhone 6 accessories in China has greatly outstripped the previous models due to the unprecedented popularity of Apple's latest smartphones in the world's largest populated market.

After the official launches of Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone Plus in China last week, these hard-to-obtain gadgets have greatly spurred interest in accessories to an unprecedented level, making it a billion-dollar market.

According to a report by China Business News on Monday, Zhang Hua, from a Shenzhen-based accessory manufacturer, said the factory delivers almost 20,000 iPhone 6 cases every day.

"The demand is too huge to meet this time," said Zhang, who added that the daily output for iPhone 6 shells have more than doubled from the company's 8,000 to 9,000 shipments a day last year when the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c were launched in China.

Some bigger Chinese manufacturers indicated in the report that they are able to ship up to 100,000 shell cases for Apple's latest smartphones in recent days.

The popularity of Apple accessories is backed by the unprecedented number of iPhone pre-orders in the country.

As of October 13, just three days after the official reservation for new iPhones in China kicked off, total pre-orders for the latest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have reached 20 million in the country, Chinese media reported.

China is Apple's biggest overseas market, which only trails behind its home US market.

In Guangdong province alone, there are over 3,000 small and medium-sized enterprises specialised in making a wide range of Apple's accessory products — including an Apple charging cradle, Apple speakers, and leather iPhone cases — which create a $1.3 billion market every year, the China Business News report indicated.

The profits from these accessories are also extremely alluring, said the report. Taking the popular TPU protective cover for iPhones, for example, the price tag of the accessory is generally above 20 yuan ($3.30), which is five times its cost of just 4 yuan per piece.

The bulky profit margin enables accessory manufacturers in China to maintain solid growth, even if competition is fierce in the country, according to the report.