Apple's Asia Pacific lags on sales

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Apple's Asia Pacific lags on sales

Apple’s Asia-Pacific operation was the company’s second worst-performing business worldwide, coming in above last-place Europe in its third-quarter results.

Apple posted a 25 percent increase in net sales for its Asia-Pacific segment for its third quarter ending June 30, to $US7.9 billion compared to $US6.3 billion in third quarter 2011. 

The result was the second lowest for Apple globally, ahead of Europe’s 16 percent growth to $8.2 billion.

Even though the two regions helped Apple achieve a result strong by current industry standards, it fell short of analyst expectations.

Last week, investors wiped 5 percent off the value of Apple's shares upon seeing the quarterly revenue figure of $US35 billion, after expecting $US37.2 billion. This was despite a $US1.5 billion increase in net income to $US8.8 billion for the quarter.

In the report released last week, Apple noted that the Asia-Pacific business suffered due to flagging demand for its line of Macs. On the upside, it reported that releases of the iPhone 4S and the new iPad in the region had spurred sales.

The Asia-Pacific segment accounted for 22 percent of the company’s total net sales in the third quarter of 2012.

In comparison, Apple's Americas business saw 26 percent growth to $US12.8 billion in net sales, and its Japan operation grew 33 percent to $US2 billion.

In an earnings call following the results announcement, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer blamed the growth of the US dollar as well as difficult economic conditions for the APAC result.

He made specific mention of the economic contagion in Europe and pointed to the weaker economic positions of resource-based economies such as Australia, Brazil and Canada as they battle falling commodity prices, noting that flat conditions would likely carry into the next quarter.

Apple does not break down sales of individual products per geography. It declined to comment when contacted by CRN.

For the three-months to June 30 this year, Apple sold 26 million iPhones worldwide, up 28 percent on the previous corresponding period, and 17 million iPads, an 84 percent increase on Q3 2011. 

Mac sales rose 2 percent to 4 million for the quarter, while iPod sales dropped 10 percent to 6.8 million units shipped.

The company expects revenue of $US34 billion for the fourth quarter.

Apple's market value currently sits at $US600 billion.

Its shares were valued at $US606 at the time of writing. Analysts have predicted Apple’s share price could rise to over $US1000 per share in just two years.

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