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Why I stopped worrying about Apple in China

July 16, 2015, 7:29 PM UTC
Source: Stifel

Was it only last week that Jim Cramer called Apple “China’s biggest victim“?

I don’t pretend to know as much about foreign securities markets as NBC’s Jim Cramer. And I confess that for a few days he had me worried.

What if the Chinese spending classes, pinched by their losses in the stock market, suddenly decided they could no longer afford those Apple baubles they’d set their heart on? What about all the years Apple CEO Tim Cook spent studying the Chinese market? What about all those Chinese Apple Stores—the 22 already open, the 18 more slated for 2016?

Stifel’s Aaron Rakers is having none of it. He’s raising, not lowering, his Chinese iPhone sales estimates.

To justify his optimism in a note to clients Wednesday he pointed to the attached charts. Sales of Android phones in China have leveled off. Sales of non-Android smartphones—mostly iPhones—were up 30% from the previous quarter and 165% from the same quarter last year.

Mr. Cramer may correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t those losses in the Chinese stock market paper losses? And hasn’t the Shanghai Index since turned around?

We should hear more about the Chinese market when analysts question Tim Cook at the end of next Tuesday’s quarterly earnings call. I’ll be auditing the session. You can too. Here’s the link: Apple Financial Results, Q3 – 2015.

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple (AAPL) coverage at or subscribe via his RSS feed.