Despite the launch of the iPhone 5S and 5C just six months ago, rumors of an iPhone 6 are already in full swing. And based on the chart below, the iPhone 6 launch will be the biggest ever.
An update to the Apple ( AAPL ) iPhone 5S - likely named the iPhone 6 - is expected in the second half of 2014. And since September saw 2013's iPhone 5S/5C launch and 2012's iPhone 5 launch, we will likely see the iPhone 6 launch sometime in September.
Last week I wrote an article presenting two charts that point out a major financial vulnerability for Apple . Interestingly, that vulnerability - the iPhone - is also Apple's primary source of revenue.
Admittedly, I painted a bleak picture for Apple's iPhone sales growth. But there are good reasons why I personally own shares of Apple, and one of them is the chart below .
As you can tell, Apple hasn't lost its opening weekend magic. Apple still has the ability to generate huge sales when it releases a new product. The chart shows a massive jump between the number of iPhones sold during the iPhone 5 launch and the number sold during the iPhone 5S/5C launch.
What the chart above doesn't show is the reason for this jump. And that reason is China.
It's no secret that Apple is making its products available in more countries. The iPhone 5S/5C are now available in more than 60 countries, compared to fewer than 45 countries in which the iPhone 5 was available.
Similarly, Apple has begun including more and more countries in its opening weekend launches.
Opening weekend for the iPhone 5 included nine countries, up from seven countries that launched the 4S. The iPhone 5S/5C launch included eleven. Though the 5S/5C launched in only two additional countries, one of them was China - the world's largest smartphone market - and led to the huge jump in iPhone sales on opening weekend.
China is also the reason why the iPhone 6 launch will be the biggest ever.
During the 5S/5C launch when China fueled the huge jump in sales over the iPhone 5 launch, Apple still hadn't completed its deal with China's largest mobile carrier, China Mobile ( CHL ) .
Since then, Apple's deal with China Mobile has made iPhones more accessible to millions of Chinese consumers. And while the iPhone remains more expensive than almost any other phone in China, a recent study revealed some promising numbers.
Of the 27% of smartphones in China that cost more than $500, 80% are iPhones .
These recently released figures suggest that Apple's China strategy is paying off much more than previously expected. It also suggests that high-end Chinese consumers have caught iPhone fever, exactly what is required for a huge iPhone 6 launch in China.
It should come as no surprise that the iPhone launches are getting bigger and bigger as Apple becomes a more global company. The iPhone 6 launch will include China Mobile and its 760 million subscribers, more than all of the mobile subscribers in the U.S. combined.
The launch of the iPhone 5S/5C was huge. But thanks to China Mobile's users and Apple's increasing global presence, the iPhone 6 launch will be the biggest ever.
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