Led By iPhone, Apple China Sales Top $16B In Q1, Up 157% On Q4, 70% vs. A Year Ago

Apple Q1 earnings have been a record-breaker for iPhone sales, and Apple is also hitting a high in another area: China. Today the company reported sales of $16.144 billion in the country, up 157% on Q4 and 70% on a year ago. Elsewhere outside of the U.S., Apple reported revenues of $17.2 billion in Europe (up 20% on a year ago); $5.4b in Japan (up 8%) and $5.2 billion in the rest of Asia Pacific.

“We’re doing well in every corner of the world,” CEO Tim Cook pointed out on the earnings call today.

A lot of that push has been down to sales of the iPhone. Among them, Apple CFO Luca Maestri pointed out, sales in the BRIC block (Brazil, Russia, India and China), were up 97%. “The growth was absolutely stunning” in emerging markets, noted Cook.

Singling out China, Maestri noted that Apple is boosting its sales channel to capitalise on the opportunity: it plans to have 40 retail stores open in the country by the middle of 2016, with 16 to be open as of this week. Cook added in that the online sales channel is also booming: online revenues in China the last quarter, he said, were “more than the sum of the previous five years.”

“People love Apple products and we are going to do our best to serve the market,” Cook said.

Some of it has also been down to favorable “currency headwinds” — a recurring theme on the call. That has also included Apple raising prices in certain markets like Russia to offset some of the fluctuations.

With overall revenues of $74.6 billion, Apple is making close to 59% of its revenues outside of the Americas, as of Q1.

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Although it looks like $16.1 billion might be the highest-ever in sales that Apple has achieved in China, the U.S. is still outselling it in iPhone sales, according to data provided to Reuters’ Chrissy Farr:

That was seconded in the call, when Apple’s Cook referred to China as Apple’s “number-two iPhone market.”

At the same time, relative to the China market alone, it looks like Apple is in pole position. according to research published earlier today by Canalys, Apple is now shipping the most devices in the country, propelled by strong sales of the two new iPhone 6 models. That currently puts it ahead not only of homegrown favorites Xiaomi and Huawei but also Samsung, which dominates smartphone sales worldwide. Whether the company can sustain that over the next several quarters and yet more phone launches from the others remains to be seen.

Updated throughout with comments from the earnings call.