Rumors about the iPhone 7 point to greater and greater improvements being expected from Apple Inc. this year, particularly in light of the relatively weak iPhone 6s cycle. Apparently Apple itself is expecting a big year for iPhone sales too as the company’s suppliers are reporting sales that are stronger than usual for this time of the year.

Apple Inc. Planning For Massive iPhone 7 Cycle

Further, all signs point to great success for the iPhone in China, especially the new iPhone SE.

iPhone 7 production to start ramping soon?

Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White said in a report today that after all of the companies in his Apple Monitor, which includes the company’s Taiwanese suppliers, reported performances that were better than the 11-year average. He said March sales for the Monitor climbed 42% month over month, which beat the average of a 30% increase over the last 11 years. He said this supports the view that Apple’s trends will be stable.

During the whole first quarter, Apple Monitor sales fell 35% quarter over quarter, which was much worse than the 17% average decline over the last 11 years. In the past three years though, the Monitor recorded a 27% sequential decline for the first quarter. He noted that Apple management’s March quarter guide indicated a 30% to 34% quarter over quarter decline, which is far weaker than the 17% average decline over the last five years. Last year, the iPhone maker’s sales declined 22% sequentially in the March quarter.

iPhone selling well in China

White also reported that he visited Apple’s flagship Shenzhen store recently and found that demand for the iPhone SE is exceptionally strong in China. He said that new iPhone SE shipments arrive every day but are sold quickly within the first hour. Gold is the most popular color in China, he added.

Stifel analyst Aaron Rakers examined the latest data for Android and non-Android smartphone shipments in China and also found that the iPhone continues to do well. He said the implied non-Android volume (of which most is assumed to be Apple) was at about 6.44 million in March, an increase from 2.8 million in the previous month and 5.6 million in March 2015.

Apple shares edged higher by as much as 1.28% to $110.05 per share in afternoon trading today.