Oct 29, 2020 - Technology

Apple sets September quarter sales record despite later iPhone launch

Apple CEO Tim Cook, speaking at the Apple 12 launch event in October.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, speaking at the Apple 12 launch event in October. Photo: Apple

Apple on Thursday reported quarterly sales and earnings that narrowly exceeded analysts estimates as the iPhone maker continued to see strong demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

What they's saying: The company said response to new products, including the iPhone 12 has been "tremendously positive" but did not give a specific forecast for the current quarter.

Why it matters: Apple continues to be a bellwether for the smartphone business and broader tech industry.

Details: Sales of the iPhone were down sharply from a year ago as Apple delayed the launch of the new lineup from late in the September quarter to October, meaning the first results for the new iPhone won't show up until the company's January report.

By the numbers:

  • Revenue: $64.7 billion (vs. $64.16 billion consensus analyst expectation)
  • Earnings per share: 73 cents (vs. 71 cents analyst expectations)
  • iPhone revenue: $26.4 billion (vs. 33.3 billion a year ago)
  • Mac: $9 billion (vs. $7 billion a year ago)
  • iPad: $6.8 billion (vs. $4.7 billion a year ago)
  • Services: $15.5 billion (vs. $12.5 billion a year ago)
  • Wearables, home and accessories: $7.9 billion (vs. $6.5 billion a year ago)

What they're saying: "Despite the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, Apple is in the midst of our most prolific product introduction period ever, and the early response to all our new products, led by our first 5G-enabled iPhone lineup, has been tremendously positive," CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.

Update, 2:30 p.m. PT: On a conference call with analysts, CFO Luca Maestri declined to offer a revenue forecast, but said the company expects iPhone sales to be up from a year ago despite the fact that the new iPhones are launching several weeks into the quarter. Services and all other products should see revenue growth in "double digits," Maestri said. Cook said to also expect growth in China, which was down in the just-reported quarter.

  • The company said the Apple One service bundle will launch tomorrow and the company is expected to debut the first Macs powered by an Apple processor to launch later in the year.
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