Apple Inc, which had briefly hovered over the $1-trillion market capitalisation mark, has just revealed that it had about 900 million iPhones in use around the world as of the end of 2018. Of these, 75 million iPhones had come into use since the end of the previous year, the company informed.
This was the first time that Apple broke down the number of units sold for any of its products. And, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said in an earnings conference call early on Wednesday that the company planned to keep up the practice.
Cook outlined that slowing demand in China and a general tendency among users to upgrade their iPhones over a longer time period than earlier had caused a drop in the number of devices sold. However, it is safe to say Apple partially offset the drop in revenues (even as “units sold” dropped) with higher prices of iPhones. iPhone XS, released in September last year, was put up for $999.
Slow iPhone sales hit Apple’s overall revenues too.
Total sales in the quarter were down 5 per cent year-on-year at $84.31 billion. But, because Apple had lowered its guidance on sales earlier this month, the earnings were around street estimates. Apple’s stock was up 4 per cent intra-day on Nasdaq after the earnings were announced.
Another major takeaway is Apple is going strong in its services business. Revenue from Apple's services — which include Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud — was 19 per cent higher than last year, at $10.9 billion.
With demand slowing in China, coupled with the trade disputes between China and the US, Apple is looking at other geographies, including India, to ramp up sales. The company is working on a bounce-back strategy in India after iPhone shipments to the country dropped to 1.6-1.7 million units in 2018, from 3.2 million in 2017, according to Counterpoint research.
Apple is in the process of launching new-format larger stores and is simultaneously in discussions with the Indian government for sops to set up manufacturing operations here.
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