“Actually, we had our best quarter ever in China,” Cook answered. “Revenue was $8.8 billion, which is up 11% year over year … and that’s the same as the speed Apple is growing.”
That’s an almost suspicious number, actually, given that the Chinese treat the number eight in a similar way to Westerners and the number seven. It’s considered lucky and auspicious given its perfect vertical symmetry, and many Chinese pay extra for license plate numbers with eight in them, or addresses that have eight in them.
In any case, that’s the number Apple is reporting.
The highlight, Cook said, was the iPad, which Apple sold 180 percent more of this quarter than the year-ago quarter. And Apple set records for iPhone sales, adding 8,000 points of sale for iPhone to bring its locations for smartphone sales in China to 19,000.
“We see significant interest in iPhone 4 there,” Cook said, adding that the company has just made it cheaper.
The 18 percent growth number Cook is referring to sell-through, meaning actual sales to end users of products. Sell-in can be equated to channel-stuffing in a way, in which products are shipped to retailers, but not actually sold.