With China, sky is the limit, says CEO Tim Cook, as the company reports four-fold Q4 sales growth in the Asian country
Apple has said China has become the second largest market, behind the US, which is the No.1 market for Apple products.
Company CEO Tim Cook said that China accounted for 16% of Apple’s fourth-quarter sales at $4.5bn. Sales in the world’s most populous country grew over four times to $13bn in the year ended 24 September, compared to $3bn in the previous 12 months, Cook said.
Last year, Apple opened an online store and six retail outlets in the past three years in China. The company also has over 200 "Apple Premium Resellers" in the country. Earlier this year, it was revealed that numerous fake Apple stores has mushroomed in the Asian country.
In the first reported earnings after the demise of co-founder Steve Jobs, Apple missed analyst estimates for the first time in over six years. However, the leap in sales in China was the bright spot.
Cook told AP that the company is optimistic of further gwoth in sales in China.
He said, "China progress has been amazing. If you look at our Greater China revenue, it represented just 2 percent of Apple in our fiscal year 09 and in the fiscal year we just ended, it accounted for 12, and if you just look at the quarter that we just ended, it accounted for 16, so it’s our fastest-growing major region by far.
"It delivered $4.5 billion of our revenue for the current quarter, and that’s up almost 4 times, or about 270 percent, year-over-year. That brought the total revenue for the fiscal year to over $13 billion, and to further put that in context, a year ago in fiscal year 10, we were just above $3 billion, so it is growing at a feverish pace," said Cook..
He added that the company has over 7,000 points of sale for the iPhone in China.
"We have placed new retail stores there, as you know. We now have six in Greater China. Our online store opened at the end of last year …How far can it go? I certainly, in my lifetime, I’ve never seen a country with as many people rising into the middle class that aspire to buy products that Apple makes. I think it’s an area of enormous opportunity, and it has quickly become No. 2 on our list of top revenue countries," said Cook.
"China, the sky’s the limit there," he added.