Apple's China Sales May More Than Triple, Morgan Stanley Says

Apple Inc. may triple revenue from China over two years as the maker of the iPhone expands its sales network in the country and Chinese consumers become increasingly affluent, Morgan Stanley said.

China may contribute more than $9 billion of sales to Apple in the year ending September 2012, compared with $2.9 billion last fiscal year, Morgan Stanley analysts Katy Huberty and Mathew Schneider wrote in a report yesterday. Growth of Apple’s earnings from Asia will outpace other regions, they wrote.

Apple last month started taking orders from customers in China via its website as the world’s most valuable technology company steps up efforts to market its products in the world’s fastest-growing major economy. Chinese demand may help counter “any down-tick in growth” in the U.S. and Europe, according to Morgan Stanley.

“We continue to believe investors under-appreciate Apple’s growth prospects in China,” the Morgan Stanley report said. There is “brand preference for Apple products among higher- income China consumers,” it said.

Carolyn Wu, a Beijing-based spokeswoman at Apple, declined to comment on the sales projection.

Apple’s four self-owned stores in China are the company’s busiest by visitor traffic, Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said last month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Lee in Hong Kong at wlee37@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net

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