Apple is widely anticipated to enjoy a healthy bounce in its bottom line next year as a direct result of China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier, introducing the iPhone to consumers in the coming days.
But will sales be as strong for Apple as some expect?
Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty recently crunched some numbers and came up with three cases for Apple in China, the worst of which projects that the company will sell just 5 million units through China Mobile in 2014.
On the other hand, 12 million units is the middle number in Huberty’s three cases, which are “all based on an AlphaWise survey of Chinese customers in large and medium-sized cities.”
Huberty’s 23 million bull case assumes a larger addressable market (279 million) and includes respondents who were otherwise not planning to purchase a smartphone in the next year. The bear case of 5 million assumes a much smaller addressable market (121 million) and excludes customers considered likely to change their mind.
According to today’s report from Fortune, Apple could ultimately see much stronger sales than many analysts are predicting. But only time will tell.
Nonetheless, Apple’s iPhone is expected to launch on China Mobile by next week.