Apple developers in China, which number 1.8 million, have earned a combined $16.93 billion and now account for about a quarter of total global App Store sales, said CEO Tim Cook, reported Reuters.
Cook made the comments this past weekend during the fourth World Internet Conference in China. As Apple aims to boost its business in China, Cook has visited the country several times this year, including an October visit during which he met President Xi Jinping. China’s president also made prepared remarks at the conference.
This marked the first time that a high-level executive attended the event. Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, is also attending the conference for the first time this year.
Meanwhile, in a Barron’s report, Morgan Stanley said that while some reports show Apple is losing market share in China, it is actually seeing share gains in the number of activated smartphones this year. In a note to clients, Morgan Stanley said it thinks that data point is more important than shipment data.
“With a large base of iPhones due for upgrades, we still see 80 percent China iPhone unit growth in fiscal year 2018,” wrote the analysts, adding that Apple is “just turning the corner in this huge market, and growth will meaningfully accelerate in the quarters to come due to many factors.”
Some of those factors include easier comparisons, pent-up demand around the iPhone X, a larger base of older iPhones that are ready for an upgrade, non-Apple iPhone users switching and growth in the overall ecosystem in China. “We see the coming iPhone supercycle driving 21 percent unit growth in fiscal 2018, underpinning our $200-per-share target price,” Morgan Stanley wrote.
China is an important market for the Cupertino, California company, given the number of middle-class consumers who have money to spend. They are increasingly looking to purchase Apple’s newest iPhone X, which comes with a hefty price tag.