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Smartphone Shipments in China Rose 17% in April: Report

The numbers point to a recovery in China's smartphone market, but don't say how many were Android vs. Apple devices.

Smartphone sales in China appear to have recovered in April, according to new figures released by China's Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), a state-backed think tank that tracks device sales. 

Smartphone makers shipped 40.8 million units in April, representing a 17% increase over April 2019 and a significant improvement over February and March. However, CAICT did not break out how many units were Android phones, a figure that is often used to gauge how many Apple  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report iPhones were sold in China in a given month. Apple stock rose 0.66% on Tuesday to $317.10.

In its latest earnings report, Apple didn't give specific revenue and earnings guidance for the current quarter, but cautioned investors that iPhone results are likely to worsen compared to last quarter. 

CEO Tim Cook also described a gradual recovery in China once the pandemic subsided.

"From a demand point of view, we saw improvement [in China] in March over February, and if you look at kind of where we are today, we've seen further improvement in April as compared to March," he said.

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Apple is reopening a handful of U.S. stories, which have been closed since mid-March, this week. Stories will operate at limited capacity and with safety precautions, such as masks and temperature checks.  

The iPhone giant got a price-target boost from Wedbush Securities on Tuesday, with analyst Dan Ives writing that the rollout of the iPhone 12 this fall will “start the road to recovery” for Apple.

In a note, Ives raised his 12-month price target for Apple shares to $350 from $335 on the idea that demand for the new phone will help propel pent-up demand tied to the pandemic.

Ives estimates that about 350 million of Apple's 925 million iPhones worldwide are in an upgrade window, which bodes well for the iPhone 12 launch in the fall, he said. 

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