Barclays: China One of Apple’s Largest Opportunities

Apple has much room to grow in China, according to a new research note from Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes. Commenting on the news that the iPad has been approved by Chinese regulatory authorities and Tim Cook meeting with officials in the country, the analyst told clients that China is one of Apple’s, “largest sources for upside over the long-term.”

Apple in China

“We believe that China represents one of the largest growth opportunities for Apple right now and that the country could even be bigger than the US within a few short years,” the analyst wrote in the research note, which was obtained by The Mac Observer.

He noted that China represented just two percent of revenues in fiscal 2009, but made up 12 percent in fiscal 2011. Apple had US$12.5 billion in revenue from China in 2011, which was up 351 percent year-over-year. This made it, “Apple’s fastest growing major region by far,” the analyst wrote.

Barclays is currently modeling for $36.9 billion in revenue for fiscal 2012 for the Asia Pacific region for Apple, “helped by China.” Mr. Reitzes specifically believes the new iPad will perform well in the country—while he didn’t mention it, TMO reported on Tuesday that China had more downloads of free iPad apps than the U.S., an unprecedented milestone for any market, for the first time in February.

Speaking of the iPad, Mr. Reitzes said that Apple’s new device, “is the most usable tablet in terms of software, apps, and access to the cloud. We believe consumers understand this value proposition.”

The analyst recently raised his price target to $730 per share, which remains unchanged. He also reiterated his “Buy” rating on the stock.

Shares of AAPL closed at another record high on Wednesday, ending the day at $617.62, up $3.14 (+0.51 percent), on moderate volume of 23. 4 million shares trading hands. Apple’s market cap is now $575.9 billion.

*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a tiny, almost insignificant share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.