Apple CEO Tim Cook on US-China trade negotiations: 'There is a bit more optimism in the air'

  • "There is a bit more optimism in the air in January, or certainly I feel that anyways," Apple CEO Tim Cook tells CNBC after the tech giant reports earnings on Tuesday.
  • Apple reports profits of $4.18 a share for its December quarter, a penny above the average analyst forecast as tracked by Refinitiv.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said trade tensions between the U.S. and China have improved since late December, giving the tech giant "some optimism."

"Of course you don't know what will continue, but I would also point out that seems to map to trade tension as well, that there is a bit more optimism in the air in January, or certainly I feel that anyways," he told CNBC on Tuesday. "I'm encouraged by the comments coming out of both countries."

Apple reported profits of $4.18 a share for its December quarter, a penny above the average analyst forecast as tracked by Refinitiv. Revenue of $84.3 billion also slightly beat expectations. But projections for the second quarter are lower than anticipated, particularly in sales of iPhones.

Apple shares jumped in extended trading following the results.

Cook had warned earlier this month that iPhone sales were weakening because of slowing demand from China, the biggest smartphone market in the world. He told Reuters on Tuesday he was re-examining how Apple prices its iPhones outside the U.S., where dollar-denominated products are more expensive.

Earlier Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the U.S. expects to make "significant progress" with China in trade talks as the two sides meet this week.