What we learned from Ap­ple’s record re­sults

Ja­son Snell takes a deeper look into Ap­ple’s record quar­ter

Macworld - - Contents -

Three months ago, Ap­ple boldly as­serted that the hol­i­day quar­ter of 2017, its first fi­nan­cial quar­ter of this fis­cal year, would be the com­pany’s big­gest in his­tory. They weren’t wrong. In fact, Ap­ple’s hol­i­day quar­ter gen­er­ated $88.3 bil­lion in rev­enue, blow­ing past even the high side of Ap­ple’s es­ti­mates.

By just about any way you mea­sure it, this was a great quar­ter for Ap­ple. But of course, the devil’s in

the de­tails, whether it’s line items in the cor­po­rate re­ports or in tid­bits re­vealed dur­ing the com­pany’s reg­u­lar phone call with an­a­lysts. So here’s a look at four tid­bits we learned about Ap­ple’s big quar­ter.

The long and short of it

Ap­ple’s pre­vi­ous hol­i­day quar­ter (which was in fis­cal year 2017, but cal­en­dar year 2016) saw solid re­sults, with slight sales growth. But as many ob­servers pointed out at the time, Ap­ple was buoyed by a slightly longer quar­ter. The hol­i­day quar­ter for cal­en­dar 2016 was 14 weeks long, mean­ing that the slight growth was re­ally a slight de­cline if you con­sid­ered the weekly av­er­ages.

That quirk of the cal­en­dar worked to Ap­ple’s ben­e­fit last year, goos­ing its re­sults. But it also meant that for the hol­i­day quar­ter of 2017, the bar would be that much higher – the com­pany’s sales would have to beat a longer time pe­riod to show quar­terly growth.

It turned out to be quite good tim­ing for Ap­ple, be­cause the com­pany did beat last year’s num­bers in most ar­eas. In one area, how­ever, it didn’t: iphone unit sales. Ap­ple CEO Tim Cook de­clared the quar­ter’s sales “the high­est num­ber ever for a 13-week quar­ter,” and pointed out that “Av­er­age weekly iphone sales were up six per­cent com­pared to the De­cem­ber quar­ter last year.”

In other words, Ap­ple sold more phones per day than last hol­i­day quar­ter... but last quar­ter had seven more days. And Ap­ple wants to make sure that you know it.

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