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Apple’s earnings call – four key things you need to know

Apple has delivered its quarterly earnings call, an event which on the surface is interesting for investors but dull to anyone else. But amidst the mountain of facts and figures are a handful of interesting tidbits that affect us all, giving a unique insight into the company’s future. So we’ve picked through the boring cruft to bring you the four highlights of Tim Cook’s earnings call.

Update: the mostly good news from this earnings call helped Apple regain its status as a trillion-dollar company by the skin of its teeth

Revenue is down

Apple reported quarterly revenue of $58 billion, which of course is a lot of money – but it’s 5% less than the same quarter last year. There has been a lot of talk of the iPhone market plateauing, with sales leveling out after a decade of mad growth, and that shows here. That said, it’s worth noting that last year was a record-breaking quarter for Apple, so not quite matching its all-time high isn’t exactly the end of the world.

iPad sales are up

Despite the iPhone flagging, there seems to be renewed interest in Apple’s tablets. Tim Cook says iPad growth is the strongest its been for six years, thanks in part to a series of solid upgrades at every price point. These days the case for using an iPad in favor of a computer is greater than ever, whether that’s the surprisingly good entry-level model or the high-end iPad Pro. We expect Apple to ride this wave with more frequent model updates.

Services are bigger than ever

It’s increasingly clear that Apple is shifting its reliance from iPhone sales to ongoing services revenue. Apple Music continues to grow, and of course, in March we saw the company announce a suite of new services for magazines, games, and television. The figures back this up, with a global install base of 1.4 billion devices helping to grow services revenue by 16% in the last year. Here’s hoping we’ll see the fabled all-in-one Apple subscription bundle within the next year.

Wearables are massive

Tim Cook described AirPods as “a cultural phenomenon” as the wireless earbuds continue to grow in popularity. He also noted that almost 50% growth meant Apple’s wearables division alone would be classed as a Fortune 200 company if it was its own business. Wow.