Ap­ple sells fewer iPhones in China

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICAS - By AGEN­CIES

Ap­ple Inc re­ported lowerthan-ex­pected iPhone sales in the lat­est quar­ter, its slow­est­ever growth in ship­ments, and fore­cast sales below Wall Street’s es­ti­mates for the cur­rent quar­ter as the com­pany be­gan to feel the ef­fects of eco­nomic soft­ness in the crit­i­cal Chi­nese mar­ket.

Ap­ple said on Tues­day it sold 74.8 mil­lion iPhones in its fis­cal first quar­ter, ended Dec 26, the first full quar­ter of sales of the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. The 0.4 per­cent growth in ship­ments was the low­est since the prod­uct was launched in 2007.

Ap­ple’s shares, which have fallen 5 per­cent this year, were up 0.4 per­cent at $100.42 in volatile af­ter-hours trad­ing.

While rev­enue in Greater China rose 14 per­cent in the quar­ter, Ap­ple is be­gin­ning to see a shift in the econ­omy, par­tic­u­larly in Hong Kong, Ap­ple CFO Luca Maestri told Reuters in an in­ter­view.

“As we move into the March quar­ter it’s be­com­ing more ap­par­ent that there are some signs of eco­nomic soft­ness,” Maestri said. “We are start­ing to see some­thing that we have not seen be­fore.”

An­a­lysts have long feared that Ap­ple’s sales in China, one of its top two mar­kets, would fal­ter amid a broad eco­nomic slow­down.

Ap­ple fore­cast se­cond-quar­ter rev­enue of $50 bil­lion to $53 bil­lion, below an­a­lysts’ av­er­age fore­cast of $55.6 bil­lion.

The com­pany re­ported rev­enue of $18.37 bil­lion from Greater China, ac­count­ing for 24.2 per­cent of to­tal rev­enue. Rev­enue from the re­gion had nearly dou­bled in the fourth quar­ter.

Ap­ple’s iPhone ship­ments fell short of an­a­lyst ex­pec­ta­tions for 75.5 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to re­search firm Fac­tSet StreetAc­count.

The com­pany’s first-quar­ter net profit rose to $18.36 bil­lion from $18.02 bil­lion, while rev­enue in­creased 1.7 per­cent to $75.87 bil­lion, both records for the com­pany.

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