Apple revenue lags Street's view despite strong China growth

Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:09pm EDT
 
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By Christina Farr and Edwin Chan

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc posted a smaller-than-expected 6 percent rise in quarterly revenue on Tuesday, but revenue surged 28 percent in greater China despite stiff competition in its third-largest market.

It sold 35.2 million iPhones in the June quarter, a rise of about 13 percent that was in line with analysts' projections, helped by a strong performance in an Asian market considered crucial to Apple's longer-term growth prospects.

Chief Executive Tim Cook told analysts on a conference call that Apple's Chinese performance was "honestly surprising." Unit iPhone sales jumped about 48 percent and Mac computer sales rose 39 percent in the June quarter, Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said in an interview.

Lower-cost phones sold there by up-and-coming rivals such as Xiaomi appeared to be grabbing market share mainly from other companies that rely on Google's Android software, he added.

This month, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd estimated April-June operating profit far below most analysts' forecasts, as its Galaxy S5 sold more slowly than expected in the face of severe competition.   

"We have a really good runway in front of us with China Mobile," Maestri said, referring to Apple's main carrier partner in the world's No. 2 economy. "Given our numbers in China, it would seem their success is coming from other Android devices."

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The gold colored version of the new iPhone 5S is seen after Apple Inc's media event in Cupertino, California September 10, 2013. REUTERS/Stephen Lam