Is this why Ap­ple won’t be re­port­ing unit sales any­more?

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - MARKETS -

Dur­ing its fourth quar­ter earn­ings call, Ap­ple made a sur­prise an­nounce­ment, deal­ing a ma­jor blow to an­a­lysts and data en­thu­si­asts such as our­selves: go­ing for­ward, the com­pany will not be shar­ing unit sales fig­ures for its prod­ucts. For the past few years, an­a­lysts and in­vestors have tended to fo­cus their at­ten­tion on one num­ber, iPhone sales, and Ap­ple ap­par­ently no longer wants its en­tire busi­ness to be re­duced to that one in­di­ca­tor.

“Our prod­uct ranges for all the ma­jor prod­uct cat­e­gories have be­come wider over time and there­fore a unit of sale is less rel­e­vant for us at this point com­pared to the past be­cause we’ve got these much wider sales prices dis­per­sion,” the com­pany’s CFO Luca Maestri pointed out dur­ing the call, omit­ting an­other aspect that may have con­trib­uted to the de­ci­sion: look­ing at unit sales makes Ap­ple look worse than look­ing at rev­enue.

When smart­phone sales (nat­u­rally) started to slow down due to mar­ket sat­u­ra­tion and slower tech­no­log­i­cal progress, Ap­ple de­cided to delve even fur­ther into the pre­mium seg­ment, bring­ing its av­er­age iPhone sell­ing price to un­prece­dented heights and reac­cel­er­at­ing growth in its iPhone busi­ness.

There is a dis­con­nect though: while rev­enue growth has sped up with the re­lease of the iPhone X, unit sales growth has re­mained flat. As the fol­low­ing chart shows, iPhone unit sales and rev­enue growth have been pretty well-aligned over the years. That is no longer the case and Ap­ple wants us to fo­cus on the num­ber that is more likely to be

pos­i­tive go­ing for­ward.

(Source: Statista)

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