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Apple’s greater China revenues approach a record $10 billion, flagship stores to triple in two years

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Apple convened with shareholders for its latest quarterly earnings call last night, during which the company revealed it generated revenues of $45.6 billion over the three month period – the company’s strongest non-holiday quarter ever, according to CEO Tim Cook. In particular, the company had strong performances in Japan, where revenue grew 26 percent year-on-year, and in greater China, where revenues grew 13 percent year-on-year.

According to Cook (via Seeking Alpha‘s transcript), sales for iPhones and Macs exceeded expectations from research firm IDC. iPhone sales increased 28 percent from the previous quarter, far over IDC’s estimated 20 percent, while Mac sales were up 13 percent, way above IDC’s estimated negative eight percent. Total revenues for the region (which includes Taiwan and Hong Kong) hit a record $9.8 billion.

As many expected, this strong growth in greater China appears to originate in part from Apple’s deal with China Mobile, the world’s largest telecom with over 1.24 billion subscribers. In January of this year, Apple partnered with China Mobile to make its iPhone devices, including the recently launched 5S and 5C, available for subsidy when purchased with calling and data plan bundles.

“The addition of China Mobile coupled with great response to our more affordably priced iPhone 4S led to an all time quarterly record for iPhone sales in Greater China,” said Apple CFO Luca Maestri in the earnings call. “We look forward to broadening our relationship with China Mobile as they expand points of sale and continue to build out their 4G network.”

(See: 15 new Asian smartphone makers hoping to crush Samsung and Apple)

Around the time that news of Apple’s deal with China Mobile started making the rounds, many wondered if the partnership symbolized the company’s final free ride. But Maestri emphasized that Apple’s alliance with China Mobile only reveals one side of the story. iPad sales in the region grew six percent, making it one of the few territories where the tablet device didn’t experience flat sales. App Store and iTunes related sales, meanwhile, saw growth in the “triple digit percentages.” Cook added:

We literally did well in every single area in China. It wasn’t just because we were able to come to an agreement with the world’s largest carrier. That was certainly key, but as you can tell from the rest of these numbers there are other things going on.

Cook revealed that the company intends to triple the number of Apple stores it has in greater China over the next two years, and will continue to “build out channels” and “expand in online.” Currently, Apple has 10 flagship stores in mainland China, and an additional three in Hong Kong. It also has an official estore on Alibaba’s Tmall.

(Source: Seeking Alpha)

Editing by Steven Millward, image via Flickr user ljrmike



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