Greater China Is Apple's Fastest Growing Region, Driving Nearly One-Fifth Of Revenue

Apple’s global revenue, excluding retail sales, surpassed $US50 billion in the crucial final holiday quarter of 2013.

It was a revenue record for Apple, but that amounts to only about 5% growth year-over-year, compared to a much more impressive 20% in 2012’s final quarter. Breaking it down regionally, we see how Apple fared in different geographic areas.

  • Greater China — which includes mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan — generated just over $US8.8 billion of revenue during the holiday quarter, and grew almost 30% compared to the same period last year. China is now the fastest growing region for Apple in revenue terms.
  • Greater China is accounting for an increasing share of Apple’s revenue — 14% in the final quarter of 2012, and 17% in the fourth quarter of 2013
  • Revenue in the Americas, which includes the United States, sputtered to an actual year-over-year decline of about 1% in the fourth quarter, the first time revenue has actually declined in this region.
  • Japan posted the second fastest revenue growth, 11% year-over-year. The rest of the Asia-Pacific region yielded the largest revenue decline, at about 9%.
  • Europe bounced back, with 5% revenue growth compared to the same period last year (Europe had seen a revenue decline during the middle part of 2013).

Greater China is the new high-growth vehicle for Apple’s main product lines, the iPhone and iPad. There’s room for more growth. China plans to add 50% more new smartphone subscriptions before the end of 2014, and on Jan. 17, Apple started selling iPhones through China Mobile’s retail network.

On the flip slide, it seems Apple hit a wall in America with handset sales. During the earnings call Jan. 27, Apple CEO Tim Cook discussed the company’s results in North America, “We did not do as well … our business contracted year-over-year.”

The Americas still drive the largest revenue share by a significant margin, at 40% (although that was the region’s lowest share in almost two years.)

So to spur growth, Apple should introduce a killer new product in an entirely different category, but a product that can integrate with Apple’s massive audience of mobile users in this region, so as to keep users locked in to its ecosystem and drive other, growing revenue streams like iTunes.

Here is a look at Apple’s total global revenue, broken down by region.

Click here to download the charts and data in Excel

Here is a breakdown of regional revenue share over time.

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