What we learned from Apple’s record results
Jason Snell takes a deeper look into Apple’s record quarter
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.