In Depth

Apple suffers surprise fall in iPhone sales

Return to growth after launch of iPhone 7 fades, as tech giant shifts a less-than-expected 50.8 million smartphones

 

Apple reported what analysts described as a "mixed bag" of results yesterday, reports The Guardian.

 

In particular, focus fell on to a surprise fall in iPhone sales from 51.2 million in the previous quarter to 50.8 million in the three months to the end of March. Experts had predicted sales of more than 52 million.

 

"This means that the iPhone's return to growth following the launch of the iPhone 7 only lasted the so-called holiday quarter at the end of 2016," adds the Guardian.

 

Revenue rose by 4.6 per cent to $52.9bn (£41bn) on the back of a jump in Mac sales, although this rise was lower than expected, while profits-per-share were above expectation at $2.10.

 

Clement Thibault, senior analyst at Investing.com, said: "This is a very mixed report for Apple in terms of results.

 

"Apple sold less iPhones than it did a year ago, but the possibility of consumers holding out until the new iPhone release is very real, especially when the upgrade is rumoured to be more meaningful than in previous years."

 

This year's iPhone 8, expected in September, marks the tenth anniversary of Apple's smartphone and could signal a big shift in design, with "features such as wireless charging, 3D facial recognition and a curved display", says The Guardian.

 

Apple posts record quarterly results

1 February

Apple has announced record-breaking revenue and iPhone sale results for the three months ending 31 December, posting $78.4bn (£62bn) in its latest report.

Chief executive Tim Cook said the results are its "highest quarterly revenue ever", with "more iPhones sold than ever before" at 78 million units. Revenue records were also set for services, Mac and Apple Watch, he added. 

Finance chief Luca Maestri said: "Our outstanding business performance resulted in a new all-time record for earnings per share, and over $27bn (£21bn) in operating cash flow."

Apple also returned $15bn (£12bn) to its investors through share repurchases and dividends, he added. 

Sixty-four per cent of overall revenue was generated through international sales, while the iPhone alone generated nearly 70 per cent of global revenue during the first quarter. 

The Cupertino-based firm made $17.9bn (£14bn) in profit, with "noticeable growth" appearing in Europe and the Asia Pacific region, reports ArsTechnica.

The US and Japan demonstrated "more significant growth", although sales in China fell from $18.4bn (£14bn) to $16.2bn (£13bn) due to Apple focusing on "untapped markets like India". 

The news comes as rumours surrounding this year's iPhone begin to escalate, with many believing the smartphone will have a complete design overhaul to celebrate its tenth anniversary. 

Dubbed the iPhone 8, the smartphone is rumoured to have an all-glass display with a stainless steel internal structure. It is also believed that Apple will do away with the central home button and instead integrate the feature into the display. 

Apple wins record profit share in smartphone market

23 November

Apple has won a record-breaking share in the smartphone market following the release of the new iPhone 7, reports Strategy Analytics.

iPhones contributed to 91 per cent of all smartphone profits around the world between July and September, followed by Chinese firm Huawei, with 2.4 per cent. 

Apple's profit share sits at around $8.2bn (£6.6bn), says the site, while Huawei posted $240m (£194m) and third-place Vivo reported $220m (£177m). 

"The iPhone continues to generate monster profits," says Linda Sui, the director of Strategy Analytics. "Apple's ability to maximise pricing and minimise production cost is hugely impressive."

The news comes after a report from Apple detailing a decline in iPhone sales over the last three quarters. A recent increase in the majority of markets has been overshadowed by a "dip in Chinese iPhone sales", Apple Insider says.

Critics posted mixed reviews about the iPhone 7, which brought an improved camera and several design tweaks when it launched in September, including the omission of a headphone jack, which the company claims was to make the device water resistant. However, Forbes says its rivals offer similar protection and still retain the connection port. 

A more dramatic upgrade is expected for next year's iPhone update, which will mark the device's ten-year anniversary. The iPhone 8 is rumoured to have a complete design overhaul, an edge-to-edge OLED display and wireless charging.

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