iPad&iPhone user

Four lessons from Apple’s latest record quarter

The company seems to have plenty of room to grow, even in China. Jason Snell reports


We all saw it coming. Despite a global pandemic and economic and political unrest, the indefatiga­ble Apple money machine would continue to chug away. Traditiona­lly, the last three months of the calendar year are Apple’s best, and Apple’s been on an upswing in recent quarters. If you placed a bet that the company’s first financial quarter of 2021 (covering the holiday season of 2020) would be an all-time record – well, you would’ve won, but only a sucker would’ve taken the bet.

All product categories and regions were up. It was a veritable downpour

of up arrows. And yet, amid Apple CEO Tim Cook’s continued embarrassm­ent that Apple continues to generate enormous sales and profits at a time when so much of the world is in turmoil, there were (as there almost always are) also some interestin­g things we can glean about Apple’s business left amid the financial disclosure­s and coy asides to financial analysts. Here are a few of them.


Apple executives singled out the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max for praise, saying it had a “very high level of interest” from consumers that led to supply constraint­s on those models and helped drive up the average selling price of the iPhone. (By how much? We don’t know, because Apple doesn’t disclose exact unit sales anymore, but CFO Luca Maestri said that both unit sales and ASPs were up during the quarter.)

Recently, fans of the iPhone 12 mini (and I’m one of them) were disturbed by a report that said Apple was reducing its sales expectatio­ns for that smaller model. The assumption at the time was that the iPhone 12 was probably doing as well as the Pro

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