Apple shareholders are not having a good time at the moment: After the mixed quarterly figures that the company announced last Thursday, the price has fallen by more than five percent since last week. Apple had to admit that the current smartphone crisis has now also hit the iPhone. Sales in the division fell by 2.4 percent, and at the same time sales shrank for the fourth time in a row compared to the same quarter in the previous year – there was last such a period a good 20 years ago. As a closer look at the finances shows, there was a ray of hope in Asia – in addition to the once again strong service business: China is growing again and India has set new records.
China is finally happy again
In the Middle Kingdom, which was Apple’s problem child recently, sales went up by almost 8 percent to 15.7 billion US dollars. According to CEO Tim Cook, the iPhone served “as the heart of these results”, while at the same time there were significantly more sales, especially in the wearables sector – i.e. Apple Watch and AirPods. At Apple, “China” always includes not only the mainland, but also Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. The growth is interesting because China has been causing problems for Apple recently: not only in production, which suffered from late corona lockdowns, but also in the iPhone business.
But that now seems forgiven and forgotten: The store is booming – at least compared to the lame quarter of the previous year. In particular, there are many switchers from competitors running Android operating systems, Cook said. These include Huawei, Samsung or Xiaomi. This is important because China is still the world’s largest smartphone market. However, Apple had also lowered some prices to boost sales – an unusual step for the group.
India: production and sales go hand in hand
The subcontinent, which is regarded as the most important growth market for Apple, is not yet China, but according to Apple, business was good here in the last quarter. iPhone sales have grown in double digits, according to Apple, which, however, did not give any specific figures. It is estimated that in the twelve months to March 2023 Apple was able to earn a good 6 billion dollars on the subcontinent, which should be 50 percent more than in the previous year.
Apple is building up production and sales here in parallel. India is to become more and more the next sales engine – for example through its own shops and better online sales – while at the same time complementing China as a production location or even replacing it in some cases. Apple uses the same “playbook” as it did in China, which initially served purely as a manufacturing location, but then increasingly became a sales market thanks to the growing middle class.
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