Millennium Post

Apple Jan-March iPhone sales down 35%, iPad 32%, Mac 22%

Apple reported a rise in quarterly profits but its shares took a hit from slow-growing revenues and weaker iPhone sales ahead of a 10-year- anniversary model on the horizon.

Apple said that its profit climbed 4.9 per cent to slightly more than $11 billion on revenue rising 4.6 per cent to $52.9 billion in the quarterly that ended April 1.

Shares of the California-based company were down nearly two per cent to $144.79 in after-market trades that followed released of the earnings figures.

"We are proud to report a strong March quarter, with revenue growth accelerating from the December quarter and continued robust demand for iPhone 7 Plus," Apple chief executive Tim Cook said in the earnings release.

Cook said the company has seen "great" response to new iPhone 7 Red Special Edition models and is "thrilled with the strong momentum of our services business, with our highest revenue ever for a 13-week quarter."

Still, iPhone sales dipped slightly compared with a year ago to 50.8 million units, below most forecast for the key profit machine for Apple.

Apple also announced that its board of directors has authorised an addition $50 billion for dividends and buying back shares in the company, raising to $300 billion the total amount of cash to be spent in the program during the coming two years.

While Apple has become the world's most valuable company, analysts are looking at how the company is diversifying in the face of a saturated smartphone market and increasing competition.

The report showed weaker sales of iPads and Mac computers, and a drop in revenue from "other" products including the Apple Watch, specific figures for which were not released.

Apple also reported a 14 per cent drop in revenues from a year earlier for "Greater China," dropping the region behind Europe and the Americas in terms of sales.

Apple's cash holdings meanwhile rose to a record 256.8 billion, a figure which raises questions for how the company will manage its massive reserves.

Meanwhile, bullish on India, Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that the US tech giant was bolstering its presence in India's "underpenetrated" market to tap the huge growth opportunities in the fast-growing economy amidst improving 4G network infrastructure.

"We set a new March quarter record for India, where revenue grew by strong double digits. We continue to strengthen our local presence across the entire ecosystem, and we're very optimistic about our future in this remarkable country with its very large, young, and tech-savvy population, fast-growing economy, and improving 4G network infrastructure," Cook said in the second quarter results earnings call on Tuesday.

Cook, 56, was asked whether the California-based company is underpenetrated in India and if it needs to work with the government to have Apple-owned stores or production given the great opportunity in the country.

"We think it's a great opportunity too, and so we're bringing all the things that we brought to bear in other markets that we've eventually done well in, and that's from channel to stores to our ecosystem and so forth, he said.

Apple s senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller was in India opening a developer centre last quarter.

"And so there are a ton of things going on there (India).

And we agree that we are underpenetrated there. Our growth rates are good, really good by most people's expectations, maybe not mine as much, he said.


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