Apple iPhone Sales
Strong sales are expected for Apple's March quarter, driven by demand for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Reuters

The holiday season may be long over, but Apple’s iPhone sales just keep piling up. Analysts are expecting the device to produce big revenue gains for Cupertino’s fiscal 2015 second quarter, according to a new report from Business Korea.

Of the financial institutions tracking iPhone sales, Morgan Stanley and Barclays are projecting sales of 54 million units in the company’s second quarter, a 24 percent increase from the 43.7 million units sold in the same period a year ago. UBS is expecting slightly higher numbers, saying sales will reach 58 million units. Apple has yet to set a date for its second-quarter earnings announcement.

Those estimates follow a record-breaking fiscal 2015 first quarter for Apple. The company sold 74.5 million iPhones and posted earnings of $18 billion on $74.6 billion in revenue. While sales increased in all operating segments, China was one of the fastest-growing contributors, accounting for $16.1 billion in revenue, a 70 percent increase over the same period in the previous year.

Apple has rapidly grown its presence in the Asian country, opening six stores between Jan. 1 and Chinese New Year for a current total of 21. It expects to have 40 stores in China by mid-2016, Apple CEO Tim Cook said last week.

While China has yet to overtake the U.S. in terms of delivering revenue for Apple, it continues to be a focal market for the company, in part due to China’s growing middle class and Apple's brand perception among Chinese millionaires. The upcoming Apple Watch has been featured in numerous Chinese fashion magazines, such as Vogue China and East Touch.

Though Apple is seeing strong demand for its iPhone, it will have to deal with increased competition from Samsung, which is scheduled to release the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge in April. The smartphones, unveiled at Mobile World Congress earlier this month, are expected to help turn around the South Korean manufacturer, based on the high volume of preorders from carriers.