Apple in China: $27B sales in the last 12 months, 500K iOS developers

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Apple is doing well in China despite that sales were down this past quarter, CEO Tim Cook said today in the company’s third-quarter earnings call.

“Let’s put it in perspective,” Cook told analysts and investors. “Our revenues there were $4.9 billion for the quarter … which is 14 percent of the company. A few years ago that was hundreds of millions — we’ve grown our business significantly.”

Over the last 12 months, Cook also said, Apple has sold $27 billion worth of product in China.

China has been a tough market for Apple in the past half year in some ways. The Chinese government has targeted Apple for warranty differences between China and the rest of the world, which Cook had to issue a public apology for. But China, which is home to almost half of all Apple’s suppliers, is also a massive opportunity for the company, and it saw $8.8 billion in sales there in the previous quarter.

But one other really good sign for Apple is the number of iOS developers in the country.

“We now have 500,000 iOS developers in China,” Cook said.

That’s probably the most in any country, as the U.S. has only about 300,000 developers. And it bodes well for China-specific and Chinese-language apps in the future, which should help build the company’s ecosystem and grow device sales in the future.

“In the arc of time,” Cook said in his very philosophical way, “China is a huge opportunity. I don’t get discouraged over a 90-day cycle.”

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