Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Apple Sells Over Ninety Billion Dollars Worth of Stuff in Three Months

If you’re a shareholder, you’re probably thrilled right now. A huge quarter for the iPhone, services, and AirPods, plus notable growth in Brazil, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

It’s not all rosy, however. I think there are a couple of low points — or, well, less high points — that are worth pointing out. Earlier this year, Apple hinted at a strong quarter for services; indeed, it was. On the conference call today, Luca Maestri said that the company has around 480 million total paying subscribers to services. But, aside from Apple Music, Apple has so far provided no breakdown of how many paying subscribers it has for any specific service. Apple Arcade and Apple News Plus were each mentioned only once. Apple TV Plus got a fair bit more airtime, but Maestri acknowledged that there aren’t loads of paying subscribers yet:

And so when you take the combination of paid subscribers and bundle subscribers, you get the Apple TV+ revenue. Of course, because we’ve launched the service very recently, the amount of revenue that we recognized during the quarter was immaterial to our results.

The other thing that stood out to me was a year-over-year decline in iPad sales. It may have been the tenth anniversary of the iPad yesterday, but this was its fourth-lowest holiday quarter. I imagine that many users are hanging onto their older iPads, as iPadOS 13 supports models all the way back to the five-year-old iPad Air 2. But I imagine that not updating the iPad Pro at all in 2019 muted sales somewhat.

Anyway, I imagine Apple’s biggest shareholders have each gone home tonight to jump into a pile of cash, Scrooge McDuck style, because they are well-adjusted people just like you and I.