Apple sees growth in China amid currency headwinds, contraction in US and Japan

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Apple revenues exhibited regional growth in China over the first fiscal quarter of 2016, but currency headwinds clipped the company's wings, prompting the release of so-called "supplemental material" to explain what some might view as concerning trends.

Of the $75.9 billion in quarterly revenue Apple raked in over its first fiscal quarter, $29.3 billion came from the U.S., down 4 percent from the same time last year. More importantly, Greater China generated $18.4 billion, up 14 percent year over year, to become Apple's second-most lucrative market. Those numbers would have been higher if it wasn't for extremely volatile currency rates, CEO Tim Cook said.

For the first time, Apple prepared "supplemental material" with its earnings report, specifically pointing out the currency headwinds it's facing abroad. According to the company's calculations, $100 of non-U.S. dollar revenue in the fourth quarter of 2014 is worth only $85 today. In "constant currency," quarter one revenue would have been $5 billion higher, or an 8 percent year-over-year increase, Apple says.

The issue was the first topic Cook addressed during an earnings conference call on Tuesday. Cook noted the beginnings of softness in Greater China, specifically in Hong Kong, but said Apple plans to push forward in the region.

Applying constant currency arithmetic to regional revenues still shows the Americas down 1 percent with $30.2 billion, but offers a slight bump to China at $19 billion, up 17 percent year over year. The region that benefits the most, or suffered the most depending on how the data is perceived, was Europe. As reported, European revenue stood at $17.9 billion, up 4 percent from last year, but constant currency calculations bring that number up to $20.2 billion, a boost of 18 percent.

Finally, Japan revenue was $4.8 billion for the quarter, down 12 percent year over year. In constant currency terms, Japan brought in $5.3 billion to end the three-month period down only 4 percent.