A worker cleans glass in front of an iPhone 5C advertisement at an apple store in Kunming, Yunnan province, China. / REUTERS/Wong Campion

Company has been targeting the country, with new phones and deals with local networks

Apple is expected to announce that it is now selling more iPhones in China than in the US last year, the first time the US has been overtaken as the phone’s biggest market.

The company is set to report its earnings on Tuesday evening, where it is expected to report strong revenues driven especially by the two iPhone 6. There it will probably announce that China has overtaken the US in terms of sales, according to a report by the Financial Times.

The report echoes expectations by UBS’s analyst Steven Milunovich, who suggested that China could represent 35% of iPhone sales, up from 22% in the same period the year before.

Apple’s success in the country seems to have been largely driven by its partnership with China Mobile, the company’s biggest phone operator, which helped customers buy the handset more easily as well as giving it more prominence. Attempts by competitors to break into the often difficult and closed markets have usually struggled.

The iPhone 6 has also contributed to the company’s success in the country. The recent iPhone 6 Plus — Apple’s largest iPhone ever, by far — was thought to have been in large part targeted at the Asian market, where buyers tend to prefer big phones.

Tim Cook helped open a huge new Apple Store in China last week, drawing crowds as big as those that come to openings elsewhere in the world, according to reports.