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Apple is still having a pretty good time of it – Tim Cook has revealed in the company’s fourth quarter earnings call that thanks to record-breaking iPhone sales, and a solid Mac line, Apple’s revenue and profit is still growing at around 30 percent a year.
Numbers-wise, they’re so big it’s hard to contextualize, but Apple’s revenue reached $51.5 billion, with a net profit of $11.1 billion. That’s up from $42.1 billion and $8.5 billion respectively on a year ago. It’s safe to say Apple remains the largest company on the planet.
So how has Apple hit this massive growth cycle? Let’s take a closer look.
The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus
This is what makes Apple’s Q4 earnings call so significant – it follows the release of the new flagship devices. After first-weekend sales at the end of September amounted to 13 million, up from the previous year’s 10 million, it was already clear the 6s and 6s Plus were record-breakers.
Even better, Cook revealed that as many as 30% of new iPhone owners have just switched from Android. That’s an incredible feat and was probably helped by Apple releasing its Android switchover app alongside the devices.
Cook also noted that Apple Pay is continuing to expand, increasing the ubiquity of Apple’s payment technology available on the iPhone 6 and later, plus the most recent iPads. American Express is pushing ahead with more markets across the world, while Australia and Canada are set to receive the service later in 2015. 2016 will see Singapore, Hong Kong and Spain start to use Apple Pay.
This may come as a surprise, but Apple News is proving incredibly popular – more so than Apple Music. Though Apple’s music streaming service was recently confirmed by Cook to have 6.5 million paid subscribers, in the earnings call he said as many as 40 million users were using iOS 9’s news aggregation app.
Read more about the changes to Apple’s Newsstand with the arrival of Apple News.
Macs still strong
Despite a global falling trend in PC sales, Apple’s desktop and laptop solutions are bucking this considerably. Cook explained that 5.7 million Macs were sold last quarter following a significant refresh to its MacBook Pro line, which introduced Force Touch tech to Apple devices for the first time, while another, entirely new MacBook was launched that was the lightest Apple had ever created.
This is also likely to be boosted in the coming months thanks to Apple’s new line of desktop iMacs, announced recently.
Is anything not doing so well? In short, yes. iPad. It’s becoming something of a problem child for Apple. Despite the company cornering the tablet market almost instantly, it’s become a market that hasn’t grown in the same way smartphones have. In many ways, it’s thanks to the phablet trend, which Apple itself has stepped into with the iPhone Plus devices, which will satiate many users’ appetite for a larger screen that may otherwise have been served by the iPad.
Though Apple CFO Luca Maestri admitted the iPad sales growth was falling, he also said they weren’t particularly worried.
Is this because of the impending release of the 12.9-inch Pro? It’s unlikely, though the solution is expected to appeal to another level of users, as a specialist solution it won’t create the kind of sales that will reverse the trend. The tablet market itself is in trouble, but at least Apple is still at the top of it.
Finally, Apple’s ambitions in China… could be doing a little better, says Cook. But importantly, the country’s slowing economy hasn’t caused anywhere near as big a problem as many analysts predicted. For Apple, little has changed in this market.
— TapSmart (@TapSmart) October 28, 2015