Apple on Thursday announced results for the third quarter that not only beat expectations, but reported that Apple broke records in most of its major product segments.
The company posted revenue of $64.7 billion for the third quarter, the most ever for a September quarter. The figure was slightly ahead of analyst expectations, per CNBC, and represented a small rise from the same quarter last year.
Apple posted year-over-year sales increases in it’s Mac, iPad, Services and Wearables/Home/Accessories segments. The exception was the iPhone category, which dropped in revenue from $33.3 billion to $26.44 billion, a 21 percent drop. There was a good reason for that, though — the company’s iPhones in 2019 were released during the third quarter, while this year’s lineup arrived in October, which is the fourth quarter.
“Apple capped off a fiscal year defined by innovation in the face of adversity with a September quarter record, led by all-time records for Mac and Services,” Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said in the earnings release.
“Despite the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, Apple is in the midst of our most prolific product introduction period ever, and the early response to all our new products, led by our first 5G-enabled iPhone lineup, has been tremendously positive. From remote learning to the home office, Apple products have been a window to the world for users as the pandemic continues, and our teams have met the needs of this moment with creativity, passion, and the kinds of big ideas that only Apple can deliver.”
Apple did not issue a guidance for the first quarter of 2021.
Apple, due to the coronavirus pandemic in progress, has been holding “virtual events,” including its World Wide Developers’ Conference in the summer, and separate events this fall to introduce the latest Apple Watch models, and eventually the iPhones. Another event is rumored for November, as Apple is likely to unveil the first Mac to feature the new Apple Silicon chips by the end of the year.
The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro, which were unveiled in early October and reached the market last week, have mostly received positive reviews. The company, though, did not say anything in its earnings about sales numbers for the early launch. Analysts did project that Apple received “millions” of preorders of the latest phones.
“Importantly, with the iPhone 12 launch a month later than typical for Apple and no revenue from this product cycle in the September quarter, all Street focus will be on the holiday quarter and anecdotal commentary from Cook on the call (no official guidance which is not unexpected from the Street’s perspective),” analyst Daniel K. Ives of Wedbush Securities said in a note after the earnings call.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.