APPLE has bounced back from a nine month streak of iPhone sales slumps with the dual-lens camera of the iPhone 7 Plus helping to drive sales to a record high.
The predictions of doom for Apple when they dumped the headphone jack in the iPhone 7 proved to be unwarranted, with sales for the iPhone back into growth despite many people saying they would skip last year’s update and wait for the iPhone 8 which is expected to be a major upgrade later this year.
Apple CEO Tim Cook delivered the quarterly results and after several disappointing quarters the launch of the iPhone 7, and more significantly the bigger iPhone 7 Plus with dual-lens camera, has seen a five per cent rise in sales of iPhones to reach 78.3 million for the quarter.
While the iPhone is the cash cow for the Cupertino-based tech giant, it was not just the iPhone driving the revenue up to US$78.4 billion. Mac sales, perhaps helped by the launch of the MacBook Pro, were up 1.4 per cent to 5.37 million.
Apple posted a record quarterly result of US$78.4 billion for a US$17.9 billion profit.
We sold more iPhones than ever before and set all-time revenue records for iPhone, Services, Mac and Apple Watch, Cook said.
The one product where Apple now has serious concerns is the iPad, which was 19 per cent down on sales and now has recorded three years of declining sales. Apple sold 13.1 million iPads in the quarter and while it can still claim to be the leader in tablets that sales figure is a drop from 15.1 million a year ago.
Figures can be used to tell many stories, but the real story of today’s figures is the growth in the number of people opting to buy Apple’s biggest phablet, the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus.
Apple sold 24.5 million iPhone 7 Plus phones in the quarter, which is a 55 per cent jump compared to the sales of the iPhone 6s Plus a year ago.
Since Apple began selling it’s flagship iPhone in two sizes, the differences between the iPhone and the Plus has been mainly one of size. People bought the phone that suited them the best and the bigger phone didn’t win over everyone, particularly after the bendgate problems with the iPhone 6 Plus.
But with the release of the iPhone 7 Plus, that has a dual-lens camera unlike the iPhone 7, punters had a reason to switch to a bigger phone — and clearly many have.
Next to the iPhone, the biggest money maker for Apple continues to be its services business, which includes digital music, Apple Pay, cloud storage and apps. Revenue for services jumped to US$7.2 billion for the quarter, up 18 per cent on a year ago, driven in part by a spike in app sales with the App Store recording its best month ever in December.
Apple says revenue from the App Store was double the revenue from Google Play last year, further confirming the view that iPhone users are more likely to pay for apps than users of Android phones.
Apple’s Services segment is on track to be big enough to be its own Fortune 100 company this year and Apple says it expects to double the size of the segment within four years.
It wasn’t all good news from Apple, with revenue down from the crucial China market.
Cook also needs to find a way to turnaround the iPad market, with the release of two iPad Pro models in recent years not enough to turn it around.
While Cook boasted about record sales with the Apple Watch, Apple has still not released sales figures for the Watch which is now in the second generation.
The Apple share price rose 2.6 percent in after-hours trading on the news of the result.