Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White, quoted in Business Insider, had both bad news and good for Apple in his talks with smartphone vendors during a tour of China and Taiwan, claiming disappointment with sales of the iPhone 5s but big hopes for the iPhone 6.
In the near term, we sensed disappointment around demand for the iPhone 5s.
That said, we heard great enthusiasm around the potential for Apple to introduce a larger iPhone form factor in China this year with the iPhone 6. In our view, the iPhone 6 with a larger screen (e.g., 4.7-inch, 5.5-inch) has the potential to meaningfully accelerate Apple’s growth trajectory in China during 2H:14. We have not heard this type of excitement in China around the iPhone in at least two years and thus we believe this could be a very special iPhone launch for Apple.
White doesn’t have the greatest record of reliability (he’s the guy who told us the Apple television set was launching last year, with an iRing controller), but lower than anticipated iPhone 5s sales does seem consistent with the rather muted comments made by China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua last month.