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Apple CEO Tim Cook. (Photo: Apple)
Apple CEO Tim Cook. (Photo: Apple)

Apple’s revenue beat modest Wall Street expectations in the June quarter, but its business in China took a big hit.

Revenue in the Greater China region, a market CEO Tim Cook has said will be Apple’s biggest someday, was $8.8 billion in the June quarter, a drop of 29 percent over last quarter and 33 percent over this time last year.

China made up approximately 20 percent of Apple’s revenue in the most recent quarter, falling behind Europe by about $800 million. After the Americas, the Greater China region has recently been Apple’s second-largest market.

Cook blamed the drop in revenue in China on the nation’s struggling economy. He said Apple will continue to invest in China, and he cited a survey from China Mobile that said more iPhones are used there than any other smartphone brand.

“Our underlying business there is stronger than the latest results imply,” Cook said on a quarterly earnings call Tuesday.

Overall, Apple’s iPhone sales continued to slump in the June quarter, declining 15 percent to 40.4 million units. The company’s overall revenue fell by a similar percentage, to $42.4 billion. Earnings per share also declined to $1.42, from $1.85 per share in the same quarter a year ago. Sales of Macs and iPads also declined over this time last year.

But those numbers were good enough to beat meager Wall Street expectations. Analysts surveyed in advance by Thomson Reuters expected revenue of $42.1 billion, down 15 percent, and profits of $1.38 per share, down 25 percent from the same quarter a year ago.

The company started to show signs of weakness in the March quarter this year, posting its first year-over-year drop in quarterly revenue since 2003, including its first-ever decline in iPhone sales.

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