As global markets convulsed Monday morning, Apple chief executive Tim Cook took a moment to reassure investors. “I can tell you that we have continued to experience strong growth for our business in China through July and August,” he wrote in a letter to Jim Cramer, the host of CNBC’s Mad Money. “Growth in iPhone activations has actually accelerated over the past few weeks, and we have had the best performance of the year for the App Store in China during the last two weeks.”
For the moment, Cook’s note seems to have been effective in soothing investors. Apple’s stock slid 10 percent at the opening bell but has since recouped those losses, and was trading up about 2 percent to $108 as of early Monday afternoon. His update also aligned with a report released by tech research firm Gartner last week, which said that total iPhone sales in China ballooned 68 percent to 11.9 million units in the second quarter, even as overall smartphone sales in China declined year over year for the first time ever. Apple has had tremendous success with the iPhone in China. Earlier this year, the company snagged the title of best-selling smartphone, buoyed by demand for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
But Cook’s email could turn into a legal headache for Apple. Lawyers contacted by MarketWatch say Cook may have violated the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Fair Disclosure regulation. “The SEC will undoubtedly want to take a look at this,” Thomas Gorman, a partner at Dorsey & Whitney, told MarketWatch.
Cook’s full email, as tweeted this morning by CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla, is below: