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iPhone SE demand high despite Apple’s quarterly revenue drop

Apple’s second quarter earnings call revealed a year-on-year drop in revenue for the first time since 2003, but CEO Tim Cook says demand for the new iPhone SE is “very strong,” with units in short supply.

The iPhone SE is Apple’s first 4-inch handset in three years, packing impressive specs into a small form factor. It’s also more affordable that Apple’s larger models. These facts combined mean that the SE has exceeded expectations, despite early reports of slow sales. The target audience for the device could make it more of a slow burner; a choice for customers due an upgrade, rather than something to rush out an buy on launch day. Whatever the reason, Cook says the company is “thrilled” with the response: “it is clear that there is a demand there even much beyond what we thought.”

Meanwhile, Apple’s revenue is down slightly based on the same period in 2015 – a mere $50 billion or so compared to $58 last time round. It’s hard to feel too sorry for Apple when the numbers are still so astronomical, but this is the first time in thirteen years that Apple has failed to grow year-on-year. Cook claims this slight dip is due to external factors and shouldn’t worry anyone: “our team executed extremely well in the face of strong macroeconomic headwinds.” Right.

Although detractors may point to this as the start of some kind of epic demise for Apple, it’s worth noting that the company’s revenues still make up more than 40% of the total combined revenue of Silicon Valley’s top 150 companies. That’s just crazy.