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Apple CEO Tim Cook bullish on China, thinking long-term

iPhone doing well in China despite shrinking market

After revealing Apple's Q2 earnings, CEO Tim Cook shared he "feels great" about China due to beating expectations in a competitive environment.

Apple earned $90.8 billion in the March quarter, beating Wall Street estimates. The company saw an 8% sales drop year-over-year in China, but despite the drop, it was less severe than initially expected.

The iPhone has struggled to see much growth in China due to increased competition from premium smartphone vendors. However, things were going to be much worse, and Apple CEO Tim Cook told CNBC in a live TV segment that he's focused on the long term.

"I feel great that in an extraordinary competitive environment that we grew iPhone sales in mainland China last quarter," Cook said. "That may come as a surprise to some people... And so I feel good about China, I think more about long term than I do the next week or so."

The smartphone market saw a significant contraction in China across 2023, and Apple was one of the few companies to be least affected by the headwinds. Earlier data showed iPhone as the top smartphone by market share in China, briefly, for the first time ever.

During the earnings call, Cook shared that the best selling smartphone in urban China was the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Apple's Q2 earnings will have analysts focused on the company's weak points as it prepares to announce new iPads on Tuesday. The 8% drop in China will likely be overshadowed by iPhone being down overall and a tough compare for Mac for the quarter.