Is a China Takeover On Apple’s Mind?

If investor reaction is anything to go by, there was nothing even remotely positive going on for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the December-ending quarter. The truth, though, is that not only did the company bring in overall record iPhone and iPad sales, it also managed to sustain a high growth rate in China, the world’s largest smartphone market and increasingly Apple’s most important.

The company saw a 67 percent boost in revenue in the Greater China region to $6.83 billion. Chief executive Tim Cook told analysts on the post-earnings conference call that outlets in China selling the iPhone rose to 17,000 from 7,000 a year earlier. “This isn’t nearly what we need, we’re not even close to that, but we’re making great progress,” Cook said. “And I was talking to a lot of different people and I am very happy with how things are going.”

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The Greater China region, which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan, accounted for 13 percent of Apple’s total sales this time compared with 8.8 percent a year earlier.

“They are investing in distribution as a way to grow the market,” Gartner analyst Sandy Shen told Bloomberg. “They have well penetrated the tier-one and tier-two cities, so now they are looking to expand to the lower tier cities by partnering with distributors and retailers.

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