Apple revenue continues to decline in China which affected its global sales – Tim Cook responds

IPhone 14 Pro Max

Apple’s recent financial report for the second fiscal quarter of 2024 has revealed a decline in revenue, particularly in the Greater China region. Despite facing challenges in the Chinese market, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, remains optimistic about the company’s long-term prospects and its ability to navigate the competitive landscape. Cook said in the earnings call:

“In an extremely competitive environment, I am very happy that our iPhone sales in mainland China increased last quarter. I am still very optimistic about the future development of the Chinese market. We are not focusing on the development in the next one or two weeks, but more on long-term development.”

The main reason is the sharp decline in iPhone global sales in the Chinese market. According to Counterpoint Research data, iPhone sales fell by 19% in the first quarter, falling to third place in the Chinese market. This is the company’s worst quarterly performance since 2020.

iPhone 14 Pro Max Display

Financial Report Overview

Apple’s second fiscal quarter of 2024 has brought a mixed bag of results, revealing both successes and challenges for the tech giant. The company reported a total revenue of US$90.75 billion, with a net profit of US$23.636 billion, marking a 4% decrease in revenue compared to the same period last year. Despite the decline, Apple managed to surpass analysts’ expectations on both earnings and revenues, showcasing resilience in a competitive market landscape.

Revenue Breakdown

  • iPhone Revenue: Apple’s iPhone revenue for the quarter reached US$45.96 billion, down from US$51.33 billion in the previous year. This decline in iPhone sales has been a significant factor contributing to the overall revenue decrease. Greater China revenue specifically saw a significant 8% decrease to US$16.372 billion, highlighting challenges in this crucial market.
  • Mac, iPad, and Wearables Revenue: Mac revenue amounted to $7.78 billion, falling short of expectations, while iPad revenue reached $5.55 billion, below the anticipated figure. Wearables, including AirPods and Apple Watch, generated revenue of $7.91 billion, missing the projected amount.
  • Services Revenue: A bright spot for Apple was its services revenue, which hit $23.86 billion, surpassing expectations. This segment’s performance highlights the growing importance of services in Apple’s revenue stream.

Challenges in Greater China

The decline in revenue in Greater China can be attributed to a sharp drop in iPhone sales. Counterpoint Research data indicated a 19% decrease in iPhone sales during the first quarter, leading to Apple slipping to third place in the Chinese market. This performance marked the worst quarterly result since 2020. Despite Apple’s struggles, the overall Chinese market exhibited growth of approximately 1.5%, with local brands like Honor and Xiaomi leading the way. Notably, Apple’s former competitor, Huawei, experienced a nearly 70% increase in sales, showcasing its resurgence in the market.

Apple China

Gizchina News of the week

Tim Cook’s Response

Tim Cook addressed the challenges in the Chinese market during the earnings call, emphasizing that China remains “the most competitive market in the world.” Despite the decline in revenue, Cook expressed optimism about the long-term development of the iPhone in China and reiterated Apple’s commitment to the market. Cook highlighted that Apple’s focus is on long-term growth rather than short-term fluctuations, indicating a strategic approach to navigating the competitive landscape.

Tim Cook said, “I maintain a great view of China in the long term.” Cook emphasized that Apple’s focus is on the company’s long-term development in China, rather than short-term fluctuations.

When discussing Apple’s performance in India, Cook described the market as “an incredibly exciting market” and praised the company’s strong performance, particularly in local iPhone production and retail expansion. This suggests that Cook sees India as a key growth market for Apple, where the company is making strategic investments to capitalize on the country’s growing consumer base.

On the topic of generative AI, Cook expressed Apple’s enthusiasm for the technology, stating that it presents a “key opportunity” across the company’s product lineup. He highlighted Apple’s unique advantages in this space, including its integration of hardware, software, and services, as well as its commitment to privacy. However, Cook refrained from providing specific details about Apple’s AI plans, stating that he did not want to “get ahead of our announcements.”

Regarding the company’s upcoming product announcements, Cook teased that Apple is “getting ready for an exciting product announcement next week that we think our customers will love.” This suggests that the company is poised to unveil new offerings, potentially including updates to the iPad and Apple Pencil, which could drive future growth.

iPhone 16 Pro camera Apple revenue decline

Apple’s Competitive Position

Cook’s statements during the earnings call underscored Apple’s confidence in its products, particularly highlighting the continued success of the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro Max as the best-selling smartphones in Chinese cities. Additionally, Cook mentioned Apple’s ongoing efforts in generative AI, positioning the company to leverage technological advancements in the future. Apple’s unique approach to AI, focusing on on-device processing rather than cloud servers, sets it apart in terms of privacy and security, distinguishing its AI offerings from competitors.

Overall, Tim Cook’s perspective during the earnings call showcased his confidence in Apple’s long-term strategy, his optimism about the company’s prospects in key markets like China and India, and his excitement about the potential of emerging technologies like generative AI. His measured approach to discussing the company’s plans indicates a focus on delivering innovative products and services that align with Apple’s core values of privacy and user experience.


Despite facing challenges in the Chinese market and experiencing a decline in revenue, Apple remains resilient under Tim Cook’s leadership. The company’s strategic focus on long-term growth, commitment to innovation in generative AI, and confidence in its product lineup position Apple to navigate the competitive landscape in China. As the tech giant continues to adapt to market dynamics and consumer preferences, its resilience and forward-looking approach will be critical in sustaining its position in the ever-evolving global market.

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