Apple Planning a Second R&D Center in All-Important China
But in this year's fiscal second quarter, iPhone sales fell 18 percent to 51.2 million units from 61.2 million in the same quarter in 2015. The second-quarter iPhone sales were also down sharply—by 32 percent—from the 74.78 million in the first quarter of 2016. In dollars, iPhone sales dropped to $32.9 billion in the second quarter, down 18 percent from $40.3 billion a year prior. Apple has had a tougher time doing business in China recently as well. In June, Chinese officials ordered Apple to stop selling its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones in Beijing after determining the handsets infringe on Chinese-held patents related to smartphone designs, according to an earlier eWEEK story. In March, Apple lost the exclusive use of the word "iPhone" in China when the Beijing Municipal High People's Court ruled against the company in a trademark dispute, granting authority to the Beijing Xintong Tiandi Technology Co. to use the iPhone name on its wallets, smartphone cases and other leather goods. Xintong seems to have applied for and received its trademark in 2007.Things were so tough that Cook traveled to China in late May for talks with government leaders after the company experienced a series of stumbles. Just before Cook's trip to China, Apple unveiled a $1 billion investment in China's DiDi Chuxing ride-sharing service, a competitor to Uber. Apple made the investment as part of a larger plan to seek new revenue streams and business as sales of its flagship products wane around the globe.
In late April, government regulators in China without warning shut down Apple's online iBooks Store and iTunes Movies service, which had opened six months before, leaving the company working with the Communist government to try to restart the services. The shuttering of the Apple services occurred despite permission that Apple previously received from the Chinese government when the services began there last year, according to an earlier eWEEK story.