Tim Cook ‘positive’ on China as local revenues surge 99% to $12.5B

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple Partners With American Express to Expand Apple Pay Globally.

Apple’s Chinese revenues soared 99 percent year-over-year in its fiscal fourth quarter, growing from just under $6.3 billion to about $12.5 billion, as CEO Tim Cook sounded optimistic tones about the company’s plans for the region.

Chief Executive Tim Cook said the credit card company will bring the service to customers in Australia and Canada, then expand to Spain, Hong Kong and Singapore in 2016. Widodo, who did manage to meet president Barack Obama and announce his nation’s intent to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership on the trip, is rushing back to deal with a disaster of epic proportions.

In a conference call, Cook told analysts and investors that the company plans to continue expanding its retail footprint, with the goal of hitting 40 stores by mid-2015. It’s unclear if the move is an explicit exclusion of Visa and MasterCard, and their myriad banking partners in these countries, or whether it plans to include the two most popular payment networks in the coming months. Apple has been aggressively pushing into the enterprise market, partnering up with the likes of old-school tech giants like Cisco and IBM to make the iPhone, iPad, and Mac a lot friendlier to a workplace market. The service, which allows consumers to use their iPhones or Apple Watches to make purchases at stores, is growing by double digits, Cook said during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call. Fires set to clear land for various industries, notably palm oil, have conspired with dry weather to cast a persistent, toxic haze over large parts of Southeast Asia.

Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal noted that Apple Pay would be arriving in Canada sometime this November, delayed by banks negotiating higher interchange fees. Apple Pay is gaining acceptance at retailers around the U.S., with Starbucks, KFC and Chili’s among the most recent companies agreeing to offer it to their customers.

The partnership with American Express smartly gets around this limitation, since the company acts as its own financial institution in Canada, issuing credit cards powered by its own payment network. But Apple is a very consumer-focused company and doesn’t have the expertise to make its devices super-friendly to the all-important IT department, with security and compliance controls or specialised line-of-business apps. On the call, Cook said that “eligible American Express customers” will be able to access Apple Pay, so the rollout may be even more limited than we expected. On long-term prospects, the CEO cited forecasts that the middle class — the company’s core Chinese demographic — will grow 10 times in the next five years from approximately 50 million.

Apple posted $51.5 billion in total revenue for the fourth quarter, mostly off sales of approximately 48 million iPhones and 5.7 million Macs. iPad sales continued to disappoint, dropping 20 percent year-over-year to 9.8 million. Much of the company’s success there has been attributed to the iPhone, which is popular in spite of its high cost and challenges from local smartphone makers like Xiaomi and Huawei. Indonesia has resisted attempts to nudge its palm oil industry away from irresponsible production methods, such as draining carbon-rich peatlands and burning them along with forests to make way for plantations. But much of that nudging has come from companies like Unilever, Nestle, and Procter & Gamble, which in turn are responding to pressure from concerned consumers. But whereas commodities operations must go where the commodities are, manufacturing can go anywhere—and it tends to be lured by good infrastructure and sensible policies, which Indonesia struggles with relative to some other nations.

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