Apple Barely Grew International iPhone Sales


We get it, Apple . You own the domestic smartphone market. comScore just pegged you at a 39.2% market share of U.S. smartphone subscribers. Now, investors need to see some international iPhone wins.

Usually, investors have to wait for domestic carriers to report iPhone activation figures to get a proxy for Apple's mix. Not all carriers have released earnings results quite yet, and AT&T has even decided to stop providing iPhone figures. Fortunately, all's not lost.

On the conference call, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer disclosed that iPhone unit sales in the U.S. rose an impressive 51% last quarter, well above the total 20% gain that Apple posted in iPhone unit sales. However, Apple doesn't normally disclose the geographical mix of iPhones to investors, so it's difficult to interpret that 51% jump.

It has in the past, though, if you just know where to look. As part of its massive legal battle with Samsung last year, Apple did disclose through court filings that it sold 8.3 million iPhones in the U.S. in calendar Q2 last year. That means that Apple just sold 12.6 million iPhones in the U.S. this past quarter.

That puts Apple's domestic and international iPhone mix at 40% and 60%, respectively. Beyond the court filing, investors can still use carrier activations as proxy for the mix. Cross referencing all these sources, we can compile a picture of the international mix of iPhone unit sales.

Sources: Court filings, SEC filings, and conference calls.

With those figures in hand, we can also arrive at international iPhone unit sales in absolute terms, and the result is not encouraging. iPhone unit sales outside of the U.S. were just 18.6 million iPhones, a modest 5% gain compared to the 17.7 million units sold abroad a year ago.

Sources: Court filings, SEC filings, and conference calls.

Nearly all of increase in iPhone unit sales is being generated stateside. Tim Cook did provide some tidbits about certain geographies on the call, though:

India was up over 400%. Turkey and Poland were both up over 60%. The Philippines were up about 140%. And in addition, we saw very strong iPhone sales in several of the developed markets. For example, the U.S. was up over 50%, Japan up over 60%, the U.K. about 50%, and so we had several regions, where iPhone growth actually accelerated from the previous quarter, which is a unusual pattern for us and we were very, very happy with this.

The India figure in particular is impressive, as confirmation that Apple's overhaul in the region is starting to pay off. However, most of these figures are likely coming off of small bases, so it's harder for them to move the overall needle.

With international iPhone growth barely increasing, the mid-range model can't come soon enough.

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Fool contributor Evan Niu, CFA, owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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