Apple’s Feeling Europe’s Economic Crisis: ‘Essentially Flat’ Sales And A ‘Slowdown’ In Business, Says Cook


Apple often gets a lot of love in Europe, but in the last quarter that wasn’t enough to help it against the tide of economic woe hitting the region. In today’s Q3 earnings call, CEO Tim Cook described sales in the region as “essentially flat to slightly positive” — and, not unlike the wider macro-economy, “that really hampered our total results.”

Specifically, he noted that France, Greece and Italy were “particularly poor”, and Germany saw “only single digital positive growth.” Interestingly, the UK seemed immune to this situation and posted a “solid” 13 percent growth rate.

Overall, though, the performance of more mature markets in the region had a negative impact on the whole deal. “Western European countries drive the revenue [in the region] so we are certainly seeing a slowdown in business,” he admitted.

The results put Europe Q3 Mac sales at 941,000, on total revenues of $8.237 billion. That was down 10 percent on units and six percent on revenues sequentially. Year-on-year that was growth of only two percent on unit sales, and 16 percent on revenues. What that means is that while Europe remained the second-highest region, after the U.S., in terms of revenues, it showed the lowest growth of any region — not a good state of affairs for such an important market for Apple.

That’s in particular contrast to Greater China, which didn’t perform as well as in Q2 but still posted nearly 50 percent growth, with $5.7 billion in sales.

Apart from the economic situation in Europe — which is softening consumer demand for all products, not just fancy iPhone and iPad devices — Apple faces another challenge (unsurprisingly, not mentioned on the call): Android devices, some of which sell at significantly lower price points than iPhones.

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, the market research firm owned by WPP, tracks 12-week smartphone buying patterns, and in their last report, from earlier this month, it found that Android smartphones were collectively outselling the iPhone in every major European market it covers.

Cook referred a few times to a “pause” in the market as people anticipated Apple’s next device, and held off buying the latest iPhone as a result. He didn’t say more about what that new iPhone would be, but seemed to imply that things would turn around when it did launch. (Aside: is this the closest he’s gotten to admitting something new and different really is coming?) It will be worth watching to see whether the economic climate impacts that strategy of a new launch for Apple.

The story was a little different for Apple in other, non-European markets outside the U.S. Here’s some of what Cook had to say about that:

International markets in aggregate were “extremely strong” with growth in the triple digits for the iPad in particular. The tablet saw 84 percent growth in unit sales, and 52 percent in value, globally this quarter, and Cook noted that the average was dragged down by the U.S. But that, he said, was because the U.S. was “on a faster adoption curve” earlier on. “We’re thrilled with the numbers,” he said.

Latin America is one of the regions seeing a tripling in sales. Cook noted that countries in the region “border on being shocking in terms of adoption.”

India remains in a holding pattern, however — slightly surprising, given that India has a rapidly-growing middle class and a tech/mobile-crazy culture.

“I love India but I believe that Apple has higher potential …in some other countries,” Cook simply said. “That doesn’t mean we’re not interested in India — we are.” But he also contrasted the opportunities now for Apple in India with other parts of the world. “We’re going to continue putting some energies there, but in the intermediate term there will be larger opportunities elsewhere.”

[Image: C.G.P. Grey, Flickr]

More TechCrunch

Featured Article

I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Women in tech still face a shocking level of mistreatment at work. Melinda French Gates is one of the few working to change that.

46 mins ago
I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s  broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Blue Origin has successfully completed its NS-25 mission, resuming crewed flights for the first time in nearly two years. The mission brought six tourist crew members to the edge of…

Blue Origin successfully launches its first crewed mission since 2022

Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of the top entertainment and sports talent agencies, is hoping to be at the forefront of AI protection services for celebrities in Hollywood. With many…

Hollywood agency CAA aims to help stars manage their own AI likenesses

Expedia says Rathi Murthy and Sreenivas Rachamadugu, respectively its CTO and senior vice president of core services product & engineering, are no longer employed at the travel booking company. In…

Expedia says two execs dismissed after ‘violation of company policy’

Welcome back to TechCrunch’s Week in Review. This week had two major events from OpenAI and Google. OpenAI’s spring update event saw the reveal of its new model, GPT-4o, which…

OpenAI and Google lay out their competing AI visions

When Jeffrey Wang posted to X asking if anyone wanted to go in on an order of fancy-but-affordable office nap pods, he didn’t expect the post to go viral.

With AI startups booming, nap pods and Silicon Valley hustle culture are back

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

A new crop of early-stage startups — along with some recent VC investments — illustrates a niche emerging in the autonomous vehicle technology sector. Unlike the companies bringing robotaxis to…

VCs and the military are fueling self-driving startups that don’t need roads

When the founders of Sagetap, Sahil Khanna and Kevin Hughes, started working at early-stage enterprise software startups, they were surprised to find that the companies they worked at were trying…

Deal Dive: Sagetap looks to bring enterprise software sales into the 21st century

Keeping up with an industry as fast-moving as AI is a tall order. So until an AI can do it for you, here’s a handy roundup of recent stories in the world…

This Week in AI: OpenAI moves away from safety

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine

IndieBio’s Bay Area incubator is about to debut its 15th cohort of biotech startups. We took special note of a few, which were making some major, bordering on ludicrous, claims…

IndieBio’s SF incubator lineup is making some wild biotech promises

YouTube TV has announced that its multiview feature for watching four streams at once is now available on Android phones and tablets. The Android launch comes two months after YouTube…

YouTube TV’s ‘multiview’ feature is now available on Android phones and tablets

Featured Article

Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

CSC ServiceWorks provides laundry machines to thousands of residential homes and universities, but the company ignored requests to fix a security bug.

2 days ago
Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is just around the corner, and the buzz is palpable. But what if we told you there’s a chance for you to not just attend, but also…

Harness the TechCrunch Effect: Host a Side Event at Disrupt 2024

Decks are all about telling a compelling story and Goodcarbon does a good job on that front. But there’s important information missing too.

Pitch Deck Teardown: Goodcarbon’s $5.5M seed deck

Slack is making it difficult for its customers if they want the company to stop using its data for model training.

Slack under attack over sneaky AI training policy

A Texas-based company that provides health insurance and benefit plans disclosed a data breach affecting almost 2.5 million people, some of whom had their Social Security number stolen. WebTPA said…

Healthcare company WebTPA discloses breach affecting 2.5 million people

Featured Article

Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Microsoft won’t be facing antitrust scrutiny in the U.K. over its recent investment into French AI startup Mistral AI.

2 days ago
Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Ember has partnered with HSBC in the U.K. so that the bank’s business customers can access Ember’s services from their online accounts.

Embedded finance is still trendy as accounting automation startup Ember partners with HSBC UK

Kudos uses AI to figure out consumer spending habits so it can then provide more personalized financial advice, like maximizing rewards and utilizing credit effectively.

Kudos lands $10M for an AI smart wallet that picks the best credit card for purchases

The EU’s warning comes after Microsoft failed to respond to a legally binding request for information that focused on its generative AI tools.

EU warns Microsoft it could be fined billions over missing GenAI risk info

The prospects for troubled banking-as-a-service startup Synapse have gone from bad to worse this week after a United States Trustee filed an emergency motion on Wednesday.  The trustee is asking…

A US Trustee wants troubled fintech Synapse to be liquidated via Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cites ‘gross mismanagement’

U.K.-based Seraphim Space is spinning up its 13th accelerator program, with nine participating companies working on a range of tech from propulsion to in-space manufacturing and space situational awareness. The…

Seraphim’s latest space accelerator welcomes nine companies

OpenAI has reached a deal with Reddit to use the social news site’s data for training AI models. In a blog post on OpenAI’s press relations site, the company said…

OpenAI inks deal to train AI on Reddit data

X users will now be able to discover posts from new Communities that are trending directly from an Explore tab within the section.

X pushes more users to Communities

For Mark Zuckerberg’s 40th birthday, his wife got him a photoshoot. Zuckerberg gives the camera a sly smile as he sits amid a carefully crafted re-creation of his childhood bedroom.…

Mark Zuckerberg’s makeover: Midlife crisis or carefully crafted rebrand?

Strava announced a slew of features, including AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, a new ‘family’ subscription plan, dark mode and more.

Strava taps AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, unveils ‘family’ plan, dark mode and more