The global economic downturn caused by Covid-19 was always going to hit the smartphone market. But as smartphone makers shifted their conferences online, pandemic conditions eased up in China, making it the only phone market in the world that saw sequential growth in the second quarter of the year.

Apple’s Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri told investors on a recent call, “Last year we started selling new Iphones in late September; this year we expect supply to be available a few weeks later.” The new phone may launch on time, but delivery and sales will face delays.

It may well be that Tim Cook isn’t worried about the delay. Last year, even though Apple was forced to accept price cuts and massive discounts, the new Iphone 11 became one of the best-selling phones in China. Alongside it came the revamped Iphone SE, whose strong value for money made it the most popular Apple model in the world. Global shipments of the new Iphone SE reportedly reached 12-14 million units in Q2 2020.

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Heather Mowbray

Heather Mowbray translates economics and social interest stories from her loft in the Beijing hutongs, where she's lived for a decade. She is training to be an interpreter so she can finally interact with...