Apple's iPhone Sales In Russia and China Increasing
New data suggests that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is seeing accelerating sales in Russia and China.
In Russia, iPhone sales doubled in 2013 to about 1.57 units according to Bloomberg.
That equates to about $1 billion in sales from Russia alone. After the major mobile carriers, MegaFon, Mobile TeleSystems and VimpelCom, refused to agree to Apple’s partner carrier requirements, Apple sold handsets through electronics retailers for the first half of 2013. Mobile TeleSystems purchased iPhones from a third-party distributor.
One reason cited for carriers not signing the agreement was a Russian law that prevents carriers from providing subsidies in exchange for consumers signing a two-year contract.
When the carriers saw that more than 700,000 iPhones were sold through these outlets, carriers signed the agreement bringing in the impressive 1.5 million number.
Russia may not be closely watched in terms of iPhone sales but China is on the top of investors’ watch list and those numbers look good as well.
According to IDC, Apple captured seven percent of the Chinese smartphone market in the second half of 2013 on strong iPhone 5s demand. This represents a sequential increase of one percent.
In the company’s most recent conference call, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said China revenue was about $8.4 billion—up 29 percent year over year.
While these numbers still keep Apple in a disappointing fifth place behind vendors with less expensive phones, these numbers don’t include sales from Apple’s newly inked deal with China Mobile (NYSE: CHL).
Samsung held on to its top position in China with a 19 percent market share. Lenovo was second with 13 percent share, CoolPad was third with an 11 percent share, and Huawei was fourth with a 10 percent share.
When market share numbers reach investors, the market share versus margins and revenue debate reignites. Some believe that market share is an essential metric for forecasting future growth while others believe that selling less product at a higher margin is a healthier business model. Additionally, selling more expensive phones attracts higher-end customers who will spend more in the Apple ecosystem, argue some analysts.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Tim Parker was long Apple.
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