iPhone market in China grows 75pc year-on-year as mainland and Hong Kong first to get 6S on September 25
The market for Apple's iPhone grew 75 per cent in mainland China year-on-year, chief executive Tim Cook revealed on Wednesday.
Speaking at the unveiling of the iPhone 6S and iPad Pro, Cook said the China growth rate was more than double that in other markets. Apple is the third largest smartphone brand in China, behind domestic rivals Xiaomi and Huawei.
The greater China region – which includes the mainland, Hong Kong, and Taiwan – is Apple's second-largest market after the Americas. In the company's earnings for the third quarter of 2015, revenue from the region increased 112 per cent to US$13.2 billion.
"China represents an unprecedented opportunity," Cook wrote in a letter to CNBC's Jim Cramer after Apple stocks dipped on investor concern over the Chinese economy.
Cook said Apple "continued to experience strong growth for our business in China through July and August", two months in which the country's stock markets fell by more than 20 per cent, wiping out all gains made during the year.
"Growth in iPhone activations has actually accelerated over the past few weeks, and we have had the best performance of the year for the App Store in China during the last [two] weeks."
Such is the popularity of the iPhone in China that speculators were accepting pre-orders for the latest device before it was even announced, with some charging up to 21,000 yuan (US$3,300) per device.
Smugglers who bring in devices from Hong Kong to resell on the mainland market may be disappointed this time however, as Apple named China among the regions first in line to get the new phone on September 25, along with Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, the UK and the US.