Even in times of high inflation and concerns about the economy, the iPhone has been a reliable money machine for Apple. In the important Christmas business, however, the group is preparing investors for more headwind from the strong dollar.
Apple is defying consumer restraint, mainly thanks to the strength of the iPhone. In the past quarter, the group increased sales by eight percent year-on-year to $90.1 billion (90.4 billion euros). Bottom line, profit increased from $20.55 to $20.72 billion. Apple is thus breaking away from developments at other tech giants, which are being hit by falling advertising spending or economic concerns.
At the same time, CFO Luca Maestri limited that sales growth in the current quarter will be below the eight percent of the past three months. The main trigger is the strong dollar, which will reduce income by up to ten percent when converted into US currency. The holiday quarter is traditionally the most important for Apple.
The iPhone was a key driver of the business with sales increasing from $38.9 billion to $42.6 billion. As usual, Apple launched the new iPhone generation in September – this time a week earlier than 2021.
The group itself does not give any numbers. But according to calculations by the analysis company Canalys, Apple was the only major provider that was able to increase sales – by eight percent to 53 million iPhones. Samsung retained the top position in the market, even after a decline of eight percent to 64.1 million devices. The Chinese providers Oppo and Vivo, on the other hand, sold around a fifth fewer devices. In terms of market share, Samsung now has 22 percent and Apple 18 percent.
The Mac computer business grew from around $9.2 billion to a record $11.5 billion amid a rapid contraction in the PC market. According to CEO Tim Cook, this was partly due to a high pent-up demand for production losses in the spring. For the current quarter, CFO Maestri also announced a significant drop in sales and attributed this primarily to the fact that the launch of popular new models drove up sales in the quarter of the year.
With the iPad, however, the proceeds went back from 8.25 to almost 7.2 billion dollars. Here, too, Apple referred to comparative effects – in the same quarter last year there was a special boom due to new models. The bottlenecks in semiconductors, which had partly slowed down business in the past few years, no longer play a significant role, Cook said.
Apple particularly emphasized that the devices continued to attract many new customers. It was the first such device for more than every second Mac and iPad buyer. More than two-thirds of the Apple Watch were first-time buyers. With more new customers, Apple can hope for more replacement purchases and additional subscription business.
In the services business, sales increased by five percent to 19.2 billion – and grew more slowly than before. Among other things, there were weaknesses in the business with advertising and games in the App Store, said Maestri.
Across its services like Apple Music or offers like online storage space, the group is now getting money for 900 million subscriptions – 50 million more than twelve months ago. The company sits on reserves of $169 billion against a debt of $120 billion.
In Europe, where Apple recently raised the prices for new iPhone models, in some cases significantly in view of the weak euro, sales grew in the past quarter from $20.8 to $22.8 billion. The quarter ended Apple’s fiscal year, with total revenues growing eight percent to $394.3 billion. Profit rose five percent to $99.8 billion.