UK love affair with Apple continues while European sales struggle

Apple is struggling to live up to its own sales expectations in Europe, but its devices are still performing well in the UK
Written by Ben Woods, Contributor

British buyers snapped up Apple products at a healthy pace in the last three months, providing a bright spot in an otherwise tough European market for Apple.

In its third-quarter results on Wednesday, Apple revealed that it has seen a slowdown in key product lines, such as the iPhone and the Mac, in some regions — leading the tech giant to miss analysts' target for revenue by $2bn, coming in at $35bn (£22.6bn).

Apple iPhone
Apple's products are still selling well in the UK, despite some difficulties in Europe.

Despite that overall miss, however, the company continued to perform well in the UK, unlike its sales in the rest of Europe.

"The geography that did not perform well was Europe. Europe was essentially flat, slightly positive year-on-year, and that really hampered our total results," Apple's chief executive Tim Cook said on an analyst conference call.

"The UK was relatively solid at 30-percent growth, but France and Greece and Italy were particularly poor, and Germany was ultimately a single-digit positive growth for the quarter," he noted.

European sales of Apple's Mac products fell by 10 percent quarter-on-quarter. The Mac range fared better in the US, growing 25 percent and helping to offset a 23-percent decrease in unit sales in the Asia-Pacific region.

"Eastern Europe was strong, materially stronger than Western Europe. But obviously, the Western European countries drive the preponderance of the revenue in that segment. So we're certainly seeing a slowdown in business in that area," Cook said.

Globally, iPhone sales were up 28 percent to 26 million units, with gains in the US, Japan and China. In addition, iPad sales far exceeded expectations at around 17 million units — a year-on-year increase of 84 percent.

Carolina Milanesi, mobile analyst at Gartner, echoed Cook's words, noting how closely Apple's bottom line is tied to sales of the iPhone.

"Like in 3Q11, Apple's earnings today show how much its overall revenue is iPhone dependent," Milanesi said in a tweet.

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