Analyst Brian White of Cantor Fitzgerald is currently on a "tech tour" of China, the details of which were shared in a note to investors on Friday. On the fourth day of his trip, he met with two telecom carriers in China, as well as a smartphone vendor, where sources gave him inside info on the nation's mobile market.
According to White, there's been a sense of "disappointment" among some Chinese carriers regarding customer demand for the iPhone 5s. However, those same people suggested that some may be holding off for a rumored "iPhone 6," which rumors have claimed will sport a larger display sized closer to 5 inches.
"In our view, the iPhone 6 with a larger screen (e.g., 4.7-inch, 5.5-inch) has the potential to meaningfully accelerate Apple's growth trajectory in China during (the second half of 2014)," White said. "We have not heard this type of excitement in China around the iPhone in at least two years and thus believe this could be a very special iPhone launch for Apple."
However, it's likely that Chinese brands are seeing momentum in the lower-priced smartphone market, a segment where Apple does not compete. Recent data suggested that the iPhone accounts for 80 percent of the premium smartphone market in China.