Apple posts second record quarter in a row as China sales drive revenue to US$58 billion

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 April, 2015, 9:23am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 April, 2015, 9:27am

Apple sold more than 61 million iPhones in the first quarter of 2015, as strong sales in China propelled the US tech giant to revenues of US$58 billion.

China overtook the US as the largest market for iPhones in the world, with a 72 per cent increase in the number of smartphones sold, driven in large part by strong sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus over the lunar new year holiday period. In the same period last year, Apple sold 43.7 million iPhones. 

Watch: How China overtook the U.S. in iPhone sales for the first time 

Revenue from greater China rose 71 per cent to US$16.82 billion, showing that the market is on track to overtake the US, as Apple CEO Tim Cook predicted last year. Revenue from the Americas was up 19 per cent to US$21.3 billion. This was the first quarter that the Greater China market – which includes the mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan – overtook Europe to become the company's second-biggest region. 

“We are thrilled by the continued strength of iPhone, Mac and the App Store, which drove our best March quarter results ever,” said Cook.

“We’re seeing a higher rate of people switching to iPhone than we’ve experienced in previous cycles, and we’re off to an exciting start to the June quarter with the launch of Apple Watch.”

The iPhone wasn't the only product that performed well in China, sales of Macs also rose 31 per cent.

“I’ve never seen as many people coming into the middle class as I have in China and that is where the bulk of our sales are going,” Cook told analysts following the company's results announcement.

He said that sales of the iPad, which declined overall, had hit an all-time high in China.

The latest results do not include Apple Watch sales. The company's much-vaunted smartwatch went on sale on Friday, but without the traditional long queues as Apple directed fans to buy the device online.

According to research firm Slice Intelligence, almost one million people in the US pre-ordered a Watch when it became available in early April. The device range, which includes the rose gold US$10,000 Apple Watch Edition, is expected to be another strong performer in China.