Apple’s Q2 sales keep focus on China

IPads become key to pushing U.S. content there

Apple’s blockbuster second-quarter results — the company nearly doubled profits — gives Hollywood another reason to focus on China as a way to boost the bottom lines.

Much of Apple’s $11.6 billion profit on $39.2 billion in revenue, up 59%, in the March quarter, came from brisk sales of its iPhones, iPads and Mac computers in China. International sales accounted for 64% of its revenue during the quarter.

Apple sold 35.1 million iPhones during the period, up 88% increase over the same quarter a year ago. It moved 11.8 million iPads, up 151%, and 4 million Macs, up 7%. Pod sales declined 15% to 7.7 million.

Company released the iPhone 4 in China in January, months after its U.S. bow. Sales are already up fivefold for the device from a year ago. Apple’s third iPad arrived in stores in March and moved 3 million units in the first four days.

As the major studios increase their presence in China through homevid distribution deals with cable and online-based VOD ventures, Apple’s mobile devices will increasingly become a key platform on which Hollywood’s content will play.

That’s especially expected to be the case as Chinese consumers boast more disposable income and exhibit a stronger demand for high-end products. The nation’s largest cellphone carrier, China Mobile, claims more than 650 million customers.

China became Apple’s second-largest market last year, when it earned $13 billion in sales there. It’s already earned $12.4 billion in the first half of the current fiscal year, with sales tripling to a record $7.9 billion during the second quarter.

“It is mind-boggling that we can do this well,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook during an earnings call with analysts. “There’s a tremendous opportunity for companies that understand China, and we’re trying to do everything we can to understand the market.”

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