Apple (s aapl) is expected to ship 11 million million iPhones this quarter, and is banking on China for continued growth, according to an analyst note issued today. Daniel Amir, director and senior research analyst of semiconductors at Lazard Capital Markets, cited China Unicom as sayings it’s sold some 30,000 iPhones in the country since the iconic handset’s launch there on Oct. 30. However, in light of the phone’s high price tag, he isn’t so sanguine about Apple’s prospects in China going forward. From the note:
In October, iPhone shipment to China reached 700K units even though sell-through has been much lower largely due to the high price point. Apple is likely to continue diverting 10% of the iPhone build to the Chinese market, as the opportunity for China could be significant to future growth of the iPhone. … Overall, in our opinion, the high price point remains a barrier for further iPhone adoption and the current run rate is below expectations.
Even if Apple can’t keep growing sales significantly through China, it need only wait until its exclusivity agreements are over to keep its sales on the up and up.