Apple’s earnings are out, and the iPhone’s 17 percent growth was likely the most noteworthy number in its hardware results. That’s a big increase for a device that analysts expected to perform pretty much on par in terms of Q2 last year. One probable reason: growth in Greater China, where Apple saw 5 percent increase in revenue sequentially between Q1 and Q2, versus a pretty consistent 20 to 30 percent dip across the board in all other regions, which is the usual course for post-holiday results.
That the iPhone’s growth is probably tied to China comes down to one major factor, and a few smaller ones; Apple launched the iPhone with China Mobile during the quarter, adding a massive new potential subscriber base to its existing customer pool in the area. Analysts had reported that they saw “several million” pre-orders for iPhone on China Mobile ahead of launch, and Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster predicted sales of 3 million devices on the new network through March. On the earnings call today, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the company saw all-time record sales of iPhone in the BRIC countries, and that revenue of near $10 billion in Greater China also represents a new all-time record.
On the call, Cook also noted that in China, 62 percent of iPhone 4S buyers came from Android, as well as 60 percent of iPhone 5c buyers, indicating those lower cost options are doing what Apple needs them to do.