Tim Cook 'positive' on China as local revenues surge 99% to $12.5B
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Apple's Chinese revenues soared 99 percent year-over-year in its fiscal fourth quarter, growing from just under $6.3 billion to about $12.5 billion, as CEO Tim Cook sounded optimistic tones about the company's plans for the region.
In a conference call, Cook told analysts and investors that the company plans to continue expanding its retail footprint, with the goal of hitting 40 stores by mid-2016. He expects China will one day become Apple's biggest market.
Cook also made reference to new environmental intiatives in the country, and his recent tour of various Apple Stores. On Oct. 24, the company opened its 25th Chinese outlet in the city of Dalian.
On long-term prospects, the CEO cited forecasts that the middle class — the company's core Chinese demographic — will grow 10 times in the next five years from approximately 50 million.
Apple posted $51.5 billion in total revenue for the fourth quarter, mostly off sales of approximately 48 million iPhones and 5.7 million Macs. iPad sales continued to disappoint, dropping 20 percent year-over-year to 9.8 million.
The Chinese market is second only to the Americas for Apple. Much of the company's success there has been attributed to the iPhone, which is popular in spite of its high cost and challenges from local smartphone makers like Xiaomi and Huawei.