Despite it being the fourth most profitable quarter of any company ever, investors (we could probably call them morons at this point) were a little disappointed with Apple’s quarter earning results announced yesterday. Even so, Apple is continuing to see growth in China and Greater China is now considered its own operating segment. CEO Tim Cook says this is still just the beginning.
Apple’s sales in Greater China for the fourth quarter rose to $6.83 billion from $4.08 billion a year earlier, which is with the new iPads shipping late in the quarter. iPhone sales in the region more than doubled and that doesn’t include China Mobile, the country’s biggest mobile operator, which still doesn’t sell the iPhone.
During Apple’s earning’s call, Cook said:
“If you look at Greater China … our revenues were $7.3 billion in the quarter. That’s incredibly high. It’s up over 60 percent year-on-year. And that’s comparing a quarter with 13 weeks to one with 14 weeks. So the underlying growth is higher than that. We saw exceptional growth in iPhones into the triple digits … [And we] saw very nice growth with the iPad.”
In the past year, Apple has increased its number of retail stores in China from six to eleven, doubled its number of premium resellers to more than 400, and is selling the iPhone at 17,000 outlets, up from 7,000 a year earlier. Cook says this is still just the beginning.
“This isn’t nearly what we need, and it’s not the final by any any means. We’re not even close to that. But I feel that we’re making great progress, and I am very happy with how things are going,” he said.
Apple still hasn’t made a deal with China Mobile, and when it does it will gain access to another 707 million subscribers, which is a huge market. Once that happens, it will only help increase Apple’s growth in the area.
Image Credit: AllThingsD