Apple and China

How many iPhones is Apple selling in China? There’s a little algebra that gets us some of the way to a decent answer. 

Apple said that Q4 (i.e. the September quarter) revenue from China was $4.5bn, and reported total Apac (ex Japan) revenue of $6.5bn. So, China was 15.9% of total quarterly revenue and about 70% of the Apac segment. 

Apac Mac units were reported as 14.9% of total Mac sales. If the average selling price for Macs applied in Apac, that would mean Apac Mac revenue was $940m (and probably less since one would expect a lower ASP) - 14.3% of total Apac revenue. 

If we apply that proportion to China’s $4.5bn, we get to non-Mac China revenue of $3.8bn. 

So what is that $3.8bn? It isn’t the iPod: Apple iPod revenue in total was only $1.1bn, so China iPod sales can’t be more than a couple of hundred million at most. It must be iPhone and iPad. 

Apple’s ASP for both iPad and iPhone hovers between $600 and $650. If we assume $600, then $3.8bn in the September quarter equals 6.4m units. If the 3GS is having an impact (with a $400 ASP) it could be rather more. 

For comparison, Apple sold a total of 28m iPhones and iPads in the September quarter, which means China is about 20-25% of volume for these two products. And it is entirely possible that if iPad sales are a smaller part of the mix, Apple could have sold more iPhones in China in that quarter than the 4.7m iPhones it sold in the US. 

These are not ideal figures: there’s no way to get at the mix between iPhone and iPad, and of course the September quarter was not a normal one for iPhone sales (people stopped buying iPhones in the USA but not in China). Interesting, though.