Sales of the iPhone 6 in China have made China Apple’s number two market in the world.
Apple announced an increase in profit of 33 percent in the quarter with net income totaling $13.57 billion, compared to $10.22 billion over the same period last year, reports The Wall Street Journal. The company sold 61.2 million iPhones during the quarter ending March 28, an increase of 40 percent compared to the first quarter of 2014.
The company attributed much of that gain to China, including Hong Kong and Taiwan, where sales increased 72 percent in the quarter.
“There are more people moving to the middle class in China than I’ve ever seen before or could ever imagine,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said. “The size of the market and the love of the smartphone, in particular the iPhone, is incredible.”
Though many analysts assumed that Chinese consumers would shy away from Apple’s iPhones in favor of feature-packed, lower-priced phones from local manufacturers such as Xiaomi, China’s strong iPhone sales have refuted that notion.
“China’s middle-class population is still growing, and Apple’s addressable market will keep increasing,” said Nicole Peng, an analyst at Shanghai-based Canalys.
The average monthly salary of Shanghai residents alone has increased 8 percent since 2013, rising to 5,500 yuan ($885), according to The Wall Street Journal’s China Real Time. The iPhone 6 starts at 5,288 yuan.
Consumer demand for bigger screens and payment plans offered by Chinese banks and telecommunications companies have helped iPhone sales in the country.