Apple has announced its results for the fiscal fourth quarter of 2016. There’s some ups and downs, and despite matching expectations, they do reflect a fall in iPhone sales.
Based on this time last year, Apple has moved 3 million fewer units, and revenue is down $4.5 billion. However, Apple was able to return $9 billion to investors during this quarter, and now holds $237.6 billion in cash and securities.
The information was revealed by Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri in a conference call to investors. Apparently, the flat iPhone sales aren’t due to a lack of demand. Cook noted that Apple is “selling everything that we can produce,” and that the demand for jet black iPhone 7 Plus models exceeded Apple’s expectations and the supply still hasn’t caught up.
But numbers aside, Cook revealed some interesting bits and pieces for what Apple has planned in the future. Here’s some of the most intriguing bits of information gleaned from the call:
MacBooks – Cook and Maestri all but confirmed new MacBooks will be coming this week, opening the call talking about Apple’s laptop computers and noting that install base is higher than ever.
Services revenue booming – iPhone sales might be flat, but elsewhere, iCloud, iTunes, App Store and Apple Music are all growing. Overall revenue for these services was up 22 percent showing significant footholds for Apple’s overall hardware/software/services ecosystem.
Fruits of R&D will arrive – Apple has spent double on its research and development this year and Cook was questioned as to why this wasn’t reflected in financial results. He noted that there was plenty Apple had been working on that hadn’t make it to market yet, suggesting brand new product lines could be on the way.
More TV ambitions – Apple released a very progressive iteration of its Apple TV last year, but they’ve not forgotten their ambitions in the visual medium. Could Apple be looking to launch its own streaming service as it’s done with Music? Cook mentioned a “great opportunity” with original content: “Television is an intense interest with me and many other people here.”
Siri speaker? Maybe not – Amazon’s Echo speaker with built-in Alexa assistant has been a surprise hit, with Google’s Home speaker already competing in the space, but a Siri counterpart might not be as close as we’d thought. Cook discussed Siri in context of Mac and iPhone rather than any other standalone device, noting that the benefit of having an assistant on the phone is that it’s there all the time, rather than tied to a less movable speaker.
Other than that, Cook continued to iterate that Apple had a long-term planned, which include new products, but that, of course, he couldn’t discuss them.
Elsewhere in the call, it was noted that 2016 was the biggest year for Android to iPhone switching, iPhone sales were up 50 percent in India, iPad’s corporate satisfaction rate sat at 94 percent, and App Store revenue has grown for five consecutive quarters. Also, while Cook didn’t offer any inclination on whether Apple was working on its own car, he did note that there were plenty of technologies that would become available in the future to “revolutionize the car space.”
Finally, Cook believes Apple’s revenue will increase during the holiday season over the same period last year, more specifically, between $76-$78 billion, over 2015’s $75.9 billion.