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Pandemic earnings – how Apple coped this quarter

Apple’s quarterly earnings report just rolled around again, and – considering the global circumstances – it’s a little more interesting than usual. Apple’s fiscal report paints a picture of how the company has been coping amidst a world-altering pandemic.

Unsurprisingly, earnings have been impacted by the crisis with iPhone, iPad, and Mac sales down year-on-year. But overall, Apple has actually made a slight increase in total revenue compared with the same period in 2019, largely thanks to increased growth in the wearables and services sectors. Our best guess is that everyone is buying AirPods for improved audio quality on conference calls.

Demand obviously took a dip this quarter, but encouragingly an increase in online orders made up for most of the revenue lost from closing Apple retail stores. And Apple’s huge reserves of cash means it can ride out the economic troubles and continue investing in new companies to build its services for the future.

CEO Tim Cook says production has returned to normal within the last few weeks, which is a good sign for the industry and points to the iPhone 12 launch in September staying on track. Much of Apple’s assembly pipeline is based in China, though Cook was keen to stress that its products are made “worldwide” and are not over-reliant on any one particular region.

But the future is still looking wildly uncertain for businesses – to the point where Apple did not offer guidance for the next sales quarter as it usually does. Cook says he has “high degree of confidence in the enduring strength of our business,” but the short-term situation is too uncertain to predict.