Apple's Focus On China Sharpens As Country's iPhone Sales Surpass U.S.

Analysts expect that China will become a bigger market for Apple's iPhone than the United States, and to underscore the point, it's believed that quarterly iPhone sales in the region exceeded the U.S. for the first time. This can be explained, in part, by China's New Year celebrations, a time when people get in the gift giving mood.

Citing market research firm Creative Strategies LLC, Bloomberg reports that last quarter's iPhone sales in greater China are likely to be between 18 million and 20 million, compared to 14 million to 15 million in the U.S. Not too shabby, though the question is whether or not China will continue to be a bigger market than the U.S. for iPhone sales going forward.

iPhone 6

"Before, there was some strength in Asia and that was people buying for themselves, then you have the phenomenon you have in Chinese New Year, which is when people gift," said Ben Bajarin, an analyst at Creative Strategies LLC. "Our big question is what happens in China for the next few quarters? Are they on par with the U.S. At some point in time, it feels like it is inevitable that every quarter iPhone in China will be bigger than the U.S."

A big reason why iPhone sales are up in China is because Apple opted for bigger size displays for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. These are the biggest iPhones in Apple's history, which finally puts their display sizes on par with high-end Android counterparts.

It will be interesting to see how iPhone sales compare next quarter. Looking ahead, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will face stiff competition from Samsung's Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge devices.