Apple delivers best-ever quarter, powered by iPhones, services
San Francisco, US - Apple posted record results for the final three months of last year delivered by gains in iPhone sales even as the company transitions to digital services and wearables.
Striking a sombre tone on an earnings call, chief executive Tim Cook said the company is closely watching the deadly viral outbreak hitting China, where Apple has customers, partners, suppliers and employees.
Apple gave a wider than usual revenue forecast range of US$63bn to US$67bn for this quarter, citing uncertainty regarding how the outbreak will affect its business.
Apple’s net profit hit an alltime high of US$22bn on record quarterly revenue of US$91.8bn, the tech giant said of the results which were far stronger than most analyst estimates.
Revenue was ‘fueled by strong demand for our iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models, and alltime records for services and wearables,’ Cook said.
Apple’s net income in the holiday quarter ending December 28 set a new record for the California-based company, according to chief financial officer Luca Maestri.
The results come with Apple seeking to shift its revenue mix amid a slumping smartphone market and growing competition in the segment, and as it relies more on services such as music, streaming television and other digital content.
“With each Apple product that a customer buys, I think they get tighter into the ecosystem,” Cook said.
Apple stopped reporting unit sales for the iPhone, which has been the main cash-generator for the company in recent years, but revenue for its smartphone sales was up nearly eight percent in the quarter at US$55.9bn.
Services revenue rose 17 per cent from a year ago to US$12.7bn, driven by the launch of its Apple TV+ service and its new credit card. Paid subscriptions to Apple services hit 480mn in December, causing the company to expect to eclipse its 500mn target in the months ahead and eye hitting 600mn by the end of this year. The Apple TV+ on-demand streaming service launched in more than 100 countries at US$4.99 per month, at a price lower than those offered by rivals such as Netflix.
Apple shares have doubled from a year ago - lifting its valuation to more than US$1.3tn -- as the company has expanded its services with television streaming, digital payments and wearable tech such as its AirPods and an updated Apple Watch.
Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc