Apple's sales rally may be 'short-lived'

Will Apple be a $1 trillion company this year?

The analyst firm recorded 40 percent annual growth for Apple in Q3 2017 with 11 million shipments during the three-month period.

China's smartphone sales totaled 119 million units in the third quarter, down 5 percent.

Huawei led the field with 22 million shipments, fractionally ahead of Oppo (21 million - the only annual decline) and Vivo (20 million). In August, Apple reported that sales in greater China dropped 10 percent from the prior year.

According to estimates from Canalys, Apple's smartphone shipments to China increased to 11 million units from 8 million a year earlier, due to lower prices on older iPhones. The mix of the iPhone 8 series at launch is also higher than the corresponding mix of the iPhone 7 series at launch previous year.

Despite renewed momentum in smartphone sales, Canalys believes that Apple won't be able to carry this forward. As of now, most people are not much interested in iPhone 8, which looks more like an updated version of iPhone 7, they are planning to purchase iPhone X because of its three major highlights i.e. Face ID, bezel-less display and super retina screen. One reason is that the company is entering the highly competitive holiday season with a brand new phone - the iPhone X - that's expensive and reportedly facing supply issues. He added that the iPhone X would enjoy a healthy grey market status, but Apple's popularity is unlikely to be helped by it in the short term. However, Mo said that Apple "is unlikely to sustain this growth in Q4".

While Apple's growth was impressive, most competing brands also saw significant growth, leaving Apple in fifth place behind Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi.

When Apple reports quarterly earnings later this week, there may be a surprising bright spot: China.

But Apple's rebound may be "short-lived" in the fourth quarter as competition heats up, according to analysts.

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