Apple is seeing early success with the reduced price and improved feature set of iPhone 11 in China. Within the first 2 months, Apple managed to sell 10 million iPhone 11 units in China, as per official government data. Apple does not report iPhone sales figures anymore, however, this shipment data is compiled by China's technology ministry so it is the second-best source for such information.
Bloomberg got a hold of official government data from China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, available here in Chinese, which shows a 6% year-over-year increase for iPhone shipments. This is not surprising as Tim Cook had hinted improved iPhone sales in China during an interview with Reuters, just after Apple's Q4 2019 earnings calls:
“The starting price of $699 is a factor in bringing more people into the market and giving people just another reason to upgrade. In China specifically… we picked locally relevant price points that were more similar to the price points that we had great success with earlier.”
Apple needed this bump in sales because they were not doing too well against the competition in China, from the likes of Xiaomi, Samsung and Huawei. The primary contributing factor towards improved demand is iPhone 11's $50 lower price, easier monthly installment plans, and a trade-in program. Tim Cook told GQ in a recent interview that more than a third of the people visiting Apple Stores opt for trade-in, and the number keeps going up.
An analyst from Canalys told Bloomberg:
“Chinese customers seem to be receiving the iPhone 11 series better than last year’s models because of the lowered retail price,” said Nicole Peng, a Canalys analyst. “We see weaker shipments for old models but the latest products are going strong.”
Canalys had also previously reported about healthy iPhone 11 demand in China.
iPhone 11 features a dual-camera setup, faster A13 processor, improved battery life, new colors, and a $50 cheaper price, compared to its predecessor, iPhone XR. Customer and analyst response has been different on iPhone 11. Some reports have claimed that iPhone 11's lower price might pose challenges for Apple, but demand in the United States has been really strong. Other reports say that iPhone 11 demand is so strong that it might help Apple become the second larger phone maker, surpassing Huawei.
Even investors have been seeing green thanks to iPhone 11, as Apple's market cap passed $1 trillion just a day after the new phone went on sale. Apple's market cap is at an astounding $1.201 trillion, at the time of writing.