Apple says it’s still in the beginning of a “5G upgrade cycle” driven by new wireless technology.


Apple’s iPhone and Mac sales continued to rise during the holiday shopping season, despite the continued spread of the coronavirus pandemic and supply chain constraints.

The three months of Apple’s fiscal first quarter, ending in December, were marked by strong demand for the company’s latest smartphone, which ranged from the $699 iPhone 13 mini to $1,099 iPhone 13 Pro Max. But they weren’t the only Apple devices people were buying. The company said sales of its Mac computers were also strong, bolstered by newly redesigned MacBook Pro laptops. The company also updated its iPads, and its Apple Watch, which helped contribute to the increased sales.

All told, Apple said it notched profits of nearly $34.6 billion, up 20% from the same last year. That translates to $2.10 per share in profit, off $123.94 billion in overall revenue, which itself was up more than 11% from the $111.44 billion reported last year. It was also enough to beat average analyst estimates, which were $1.89 per share in profits on $118.66 billion in revenue, according to surveys published by Yahoo Finance.

The iPhone in particular showed strong growth, hitting $71.6 billion in sales, up more than 9% from the $65.6 billion it reported last year. Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement that the results were a testament to Apple’s “most innovative lineup of products and services ever.”  

Apple’s stock rose more than 2% to $163.73 per share, after closing regular trading roughly flat for the day. Investors pushed the company’s shares above $3 trillion for a short period earlier this month before falling about 12% with broader market fluctuations.

Apple’s latest financial disclosures are just the latest sign of how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the world economy in radically different ways. Though many businesses are struggling, our reliance on big tech appears to be fueling increased financial performance across the industry. But the success isn’t the same across all these companies.

Microsoft, which announced last week that it plans to buy game maker Activision Blizzard for an eye-watering $68.7 billion, said its second fiscal quarter sales jumped 20%, while profits rose 21%. Netflix meanwhile, said its subscriber base grew slower than expected during the holidays. Crucially, the company forecasted subscriber growth far below analyst expectations, leading its stock to plummet 25% after the news.

Even Apple had a dark spot in its report. Apple CFO Luca Maestri told Reuters in an interview that continued supply chain issues cost the company more than $6 billion in sales over the holidays, something he hopes will decrease by March.

“The level of constraint will depend a lot on other companies, what will be the demand for chips from other companies and other industries. It’s difficult for us to predict, so we try to focus on the short term,” he told Reuters Thursday.

Nearly all of Apple’s major businesses reported growing revenues, except the iPad, which saw sales drop 14%. Apple had warned that supply constraints were particularly hitting its iPad business.

Apple’s Mac business, meanwhile, rose more than 25% to nearly $10.9 billion. Its “wearables, home and accessories” division, like AirPods and HomePods, posted sales of more more than $14.7 billion, up more than 13%.

The company’s services business, which include the $5 per month Apple TV Plus subscription service and new $10 per month Apple Fitness Plus, rose to more than $19.5 billion.

All that’s contributed to Apple’s cash pile, which is now more than $202 billion.

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