China sales driving Apple earnings

April 28, 2015 08:35
The sharp rise in iPhone sales was largely due to Apple's growing presence in the Greater China region. Photo: AFP

Apple sold more iPhones in China in the fiscal second quarter, increasing its revenue in the Greater China region by 71 percent to US$16.8 billion year on year.

That brought the technology giant's overall profit to US$13.6 billion for the three months to March, up from US$10.2 billion a year earlier, the New York Times reported.

Revenue grew 27 percent to US$58 billion, from US$45.6 billion last year, above the US$56.1 billion estimate in a Thomson Reuters survey of analysts.

“We are thrilled by the continued strength of iPhone, Mac and the App Store, which drove our best March quarter results ever,” chief executive Tim Cook said in a statement.

The Cupertino, California-based company also said it was seeing a higher rate of consumers switching to iPhones from Android smartphones.

Apple sold 61.2 million iPhones in the quarter, up 40 percent from a year earlier, but down from the record-breaking holiday quarter, Reuters said.

Apple's big screen iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have been popular with customers worldwide, helping the company overtake rival Samsung in global smartphone sales last quarter, the news agency said.

"A 60 million-plus iPhone number is a home run and will be cheered by the Street as this remains the bread and butter of Apple," said FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives.

The sharp rise in iPhone sales was largely due to Apple's growing presence in the Greater China region, which includes mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. It was also probably fueled by robust sales during the Lunar New Year in February, New York Times said, citing analysts. 

Sales of Apple’s iPad continued to decline, however. The company sold 12.6 million iPads, compared with 16.4 million tablets a year earlier.

Apple sold 4.6 million Mac computers, up from 4.1 million a year ago.

The company reported its quarterly earnings after releasing its Apple Watch, which began arriving in stores last Friday. It said demand was exceeding initial supply.

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