CEO Cook On China In Q3: Apple Had $5.7B In Sales, Still Growing At ‘Incredible’ Rate

Apple today noted in its earnings call for Q3 that two-thirds of its Asia Pacific revenue is coming from Greater China at the moment. CEO Tim Cook noted that revenues in the country were $5.7 billion for the quarter, 48 percent increase on last year, and still growing at an “incredible rate.” To date Apple’s revenues in China for the year now total $12.4 billion. To compare, in 2011 the company made $13.3 billion in China.

Nevertheless, Asia Pacific was actually the only region where Apple saw declines in hardware sales in Macs. These were down to 593,000 units, four percent year on year in terms of Mac units. They also increased of 25 percent in terms of revenue to $7.887 billion. But that’s down from growth last quarter of 100 percent.

Apple’s numbers in China for this quarter are actually down on last quarter. During Q2, Tim Cook called Apple’s performance in China — selling iPhone and iPad devices but other products, too — “mind boggling.” Revenue in that quarter was $7.9 billion, up threefold year-over-year.

Cook says that this quarter’s less good performance was down to a couple of reasons. For one he mentioned iPhone sales and “changes in channel inventory,” but not overlying sales. In addition to launching the iPhone 4S in January Apple added China Telecom as a second carrier in March. He also noted that “Normal seasonality,” was also a factor, but “We did not see something that we would attribute to the economy in China.”

Cook also mentioned that in fact China’s iPhone sales were very strong. Over 100 percent year-on-year, he noted.

However, the company didn’t launch the new iPad in China until just this month — last week in fact — so none of those sales would have been factored into this last quarter.

The company is ramping up with the launch of iOS 6 to introduce more localized services in China which could also drive sales. “We are very much looking forward to incorporating more local services in the coming quarter,” he noted.

He also later dismissed the idea of making cheaper iPhones to cater to consumers in China and other emerging markets.

“We see China as an enormous opportunity,” said Cook. “I firmly believe people in emerging markets want great products…we are going to stick to our knitting and make the best products. If we do that we have a very successful business ahead.”

Apple this week pulled off a successful launch of the new iPad in China — using a reservation system as a way of bringing down the crowds. That followed after the company also managed to finally settle a long-running trademark case with Chinese device maker Proview, settling in the end for $60 million with the bankrupt company.