Apple had a huge month for iPhone sales in December 2019, with sales growth of more than 18%. That number comes from CNBC who used data published by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, which is a Chinese government think tank. News of the significant gain in iPhone sales was enough to push Apple's stock price up more than 2% this week, bringing it to an all-time intraday high of $310.43.
The numbers show that Apple shipped 3.2 million iPhones in China through December. That is a gain of 2.7 million units compared to numbers from December 2018. Growth in China is vital for Apple and other smartphone makers. Sales in the country are particularly important for Apple as it has had a hard time competing with cheaper Android devices on sale in the country, namely from brands like Huawei and Xiaomi.
Despite the solid sales growth, Apple had only 8% of the Chinese market in Q3 2019 reports Counterpoint Research. Huawei led the market that quarter with a 40% share, followed by Vivo, Oppo, and Xiaomi. China is a key market for all smartphone makers, as it is seen as a growth market. In the U.S., however, many consumers are holding onto current devices for longer and longer periods.
In late December, the Q3 2019 numbers were published for the global smartphone market, and the best selling smartphone globally was the iPhone XR. The Samsung Galaxy A10 and A50 were second and third. The Oppo A9 was fourth, and the iPhone 11 sat in fifth place. Over 25% of all smartphone sales for Apple in Q3 2019 were the iPhone XR.