Apple Loses Ground Again in China

By Eva DouFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

China continues to be a weak spot for Apple Inc., with quarterly revenue in the country falling again despite growth in all other regions.

Apple said Tuesday that revenue in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan fell 14% to $10.7 billion for the quarter ended April 1, the fifth consecutive quarter of decline in the region. That compared with 5% growth globally.

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After years of driving Apple's growth, the world's largest smartphone market has turned tough for the iPhone maker. Local rivals including Huawei Technologies Co. and Oppo Electronics Corp. offer cheaper phones with many of the same functions.

China, Hong Kong and Taiwan accounted for 20% of Apple's global revenue in the most recent quarter, down from 25% a year earlier.

Analysts expect a rebound in China in the second half of this year, with Apple expected to launch a significantly refreshed iPhone model for the device's 10th anniversary. Some consumers have delayed purchases in anticipation of the next model.

Apple faces some fresh headwinds in China, as Beijing turns its censorship apparatus toward apps and other newer forms of content. As the only foreign operator of a major app store in China, Apple was given a public warning by Beijing regulators last month to more closely watch its apps.

Last year, China shut down Apple's online book and movie services without specifying a reason. Authorities told Apple it didn't have the necessary license, a person familiar with the matter said at the time.

Apple has notched some wins. A Chinese appeals court ruled for Apple in March in a patent case against a Chinese rival. It came shortly after Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook visited the country, speaking with top officials and pledging further investment in the market.

Write to Eva Dou at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 02, 2017 21:18 ET (01:18 GMT)