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Apple's declining streak in China has come to an end, as shipments grew 40 percent from 8 million in Q3 2016 to about 11 million this quarter, according to the research firm Canalys.
The firm said that this makes it Apple's best performance in China in the last eight quarters, where its growth has slowed considerably since the launch of the iPhone 6S.
The mix of the iPhone 8 series at launch is also higher than the corresponding mix of the iPhone 7 series at launch last year. However, despite launching three new devices this year, Apple's success in China could be short-lived, it added.
"Apple's growth this quarter is only temporary. The high sell-in caters to the pent-up demand for iPhone upgrades 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," said Canalys Research Analyst Mo Jia.
Despite being touted as widely expensive, excitement for the launch of the iPhone X is building in China. "While the iPhone X launches this week, its pricing structure and supply are inhibiting. The iPhone X will enjoy a healthy grey market status, but its popularity is unlikely to help Apple in the short term," added Jia.
However Chinese smartphone Chinese smartphone shipments registered another quarter of decline as the market contracted 5 percent in Q3 2017 to 119 million units.
The race to the top remains tight as Huawei, Oppo and Vivo took 19 percent, 18 percent and 17 percent market share respectively.
Huawei grew shipments by 23 percent, shipping over 22 million units to take the lead, while Oppo declined slightly (compared to the stellar performance a year ago) shipping 21 million units. Vivo, with a 26 percent growth was the most impressive performer in the top 3, shipping over 20 million units. Xiaomi and Apple round up the top 5 this quarter.
Meanwhile, the firm pointed out that on the back of its aggressive offline expansion, Xiaomi is poised to break the dominance of Huawei, Oppo and Vivo next quarter, making it an even tighter battle to the top."