Apple Q1 results: Tim Cook talks about mobile payments, importance of China becomes clear

Apple CEO Tim Cook talked about the growth in Greater China and other parts of the world, and also touched on the issue of mobile payments.

Apple's Q1 results for 2014 are out and despite record sales of 51 million iPhones and 26 million iPads, Wall Street isn't rejoicing. Apple shares were down nearly 8 percent as the tech giant's performance didn't satisfy investors. Apple's revenue stood at $57.59 billion and profit was at $13.07 billion. In keeping with the shift that had been observed for a few quarters now, international sales accounted for 63 percent of the revenue, with revenue from what Apple termed Greater China increased by 29 percent to $8.8 billion.


Apple CEO Tim Cook talked about the growth in Greater China and other parts of the world, and also touched on the issue of mobile payments.


About mobile payments and whether the Touch ID would be a larger part of this in the future, Tim Cook said, "We see that people love being able to buy content on their iOS devices be it movies, music or apps. With the iPhone 5s, the Touch ID is seen as simple, easy and incredible to use. Where mobile payments are concerned, it is definitely an intriguing an area. In fact one of the thoughts behind the Touch ID was the mobile payments. However it's not the only mode. Mobile payments are definitely a big opportunity for us."

Bloomberg had recently reported that Apple was looking into the idea of mobile payments for its iOS devices.


However he refused to shed light on whether Apple would launch something of the sort in the future, saying, "I've nothing to announce right now."


Cook also highlighted that Apple was growing significantly in emerging markets, although India didn't appear on his list at all. He spoke about how Apple's iPhone business had been growing some key emerging markets such as Latin America, Middle East etc. "In Latin America we grew by 76 percent, in Middle East and Africa by 65 percent, in Central and Eastern Europe at 115 percent and in China by around 29 percent," he said.


As far as China and the deal with China Mobile is concerned, Cook said that it should be remembered that the full benefits would perhaps be seen by the next quarter. "We started selling iPhones with China Mobile in the first week of January and currently we're operating in 16 cities. We hope to be operational in over 300 cities in China with China Mobile by the end of 2014. We're very excited about this deal and hopefully the results will show soon," he said. He also pointed out that iPads and Macs were also growing significantly in China.


Cook also admitted that in North America, the iPhone business had a contracted 'somewhat.' He pointed out two reasons for this. "One was that the initial mix was in favour of the iPhone 5s and by the time we got the supply out, we had lost out on some of the quarter. The other has been that some carriers have changed their upgrade policies which has affected growth," he said but added that he saw this as a short-term affect only.


As had been reported earlier, Tim Cook had agreed that the iPhone 5c sales had not met the company's expectation. When asked if the iPhone 5c's price was too high, Cook didn't answer it directly saying, he couldn't comment on a price change for now.