Several data points suggest sales trends are improving for Apple in the company’s most important international market.
New data from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology on iPhone sales in China during December suggests that iPhone revenue could be picking back up in the important market during fiscal 2020. With iPhone being Apple’s biggest segment, this would bode well for the company’s overall performance in its Greater China market.
During Apple’s holiday quarter in 2018, iPhone sales took a significant hit. Total iPhone revenue fell 15% year over year during the October 2018-December 2018 time frame, which is the company’s first quarter of fiscal 2019.
While investors expected headwinds in iPhone during the period, this pullback in the smartphone segment’s revenue was worse than anticipated. One geographic segment, in particular, accounted for the unforeseen magnitude of declining iPhone revenue during the period: Greater China.
MacDailyNews Take: Q120 earnings are set up for a nice compare. With China rebounding on the strength of iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max, year-over-year growth, especially in China, will be good news for Apple. Here’s what CEO Tim Cook had to say about China during the company’s last conference call at the end of October:
Geographically, we set new Q4 revenue records in the Americas and Rest of Asia Pacific and saw further improvement in our revenue trends in Greater China… We also saw continuous improvement in Greater China where year-over-year revenue comparisons became more favorable each quarter of fiscal 2019 from a 27% decline in the first quarter to a 2% decline in the fourth quarter… it’s not all about iPhone in China, the services area grew double digit. We began to see more gaming approvals in the quarter, or I should say some key gaming approvals. It’s not all about quantity, but about which ones, we saw that. Also Wearables, Wearables are doing so great at a company level. They’re doing even better in China. And so lots of positives there. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, October 30, 2019