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Apple reports record first-quarter earnings, making bank off your love for iThings


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Last night after the market closed, Apple reported its fiscal 2020 first-quarter earnings. For Apple, that’s the quarter (three months) ending December 28, 2019. Fiscal periods often don’t follow the exact calendar, so this is normal. The grain of salt here is that Apple’s first-quarter includes the holiday shopping season.

Apple reported first-quarter revenue of $91.8 billion, a 9% increase year-over-year and quarterly earnings per diluted share (snore) of $4.99 (+19%). Both are all-time Apple records and 61% of those totals were from international sales. There’s a ton of other more minute financial detail if you check out the press release or follow stonks.

Here’s how the sales breakdown by business unit:

  • $55.96 billion: iPhone
  • $12.72 billion: Services
  • $7.16 billion: Mac
  • $10.01 billion: Wearables, Home, and Accessories
  • $5.98 billion: iPad

It’s no surprise that the iPhone is at the top of the money list. We love to buy a new iPhone every year, worldwide. What might surprise you is services in second place. Services is all that nickel and dime crap that Apple offers alongside its hardware products, things that keep the money flowing out of its customers’ wallets all year long.

Apple Music, the App Store, Mac App Store, iCloud storage (if anyone actually uses this), iTunes and Apple Books, Apple Pay, AppleCare+, Licensing (not really consumer-facing), Maps, Siri, and Free iCloud (these last three profiting off hardware purchases) all make money for Apple off a myriad of transaction and subscription fees. It’ll be interesting to see in the next year how much Apple TV+ contributes to this.

But the iPhone, the iPhone is the big boy pissing in the kiddie pool

“We are thrilled to report Apple’s highest quarterly revenue ever, fueled by strong demand for our iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models, and all-time records for Services and Wearables,” Tim Cook said in a press release. “During the holiday quarter our active installed base of devices grew in each of our geographic segments and has now reached over 1.5 billion. We see this as a powerful testament to the satisfaction, engagement and loyalty of our customers — and a great driver of our growth across the board.”

Of course Cook is positive. Off that $91.8 billion of sales, Apple pulled a $22.2 billion profit. That’s also a record. $22.2 billion in one quarter. And who the hell knows if Apple is paying any taxes on that $22.2 billion. I know what I owe the IRS this year, and it sucks. Tim Cook has that much in his fucking wallet.

At some point last year there was speculation that AirPods alone could be a $175 billion dollar enterprise, but I don’t see that reflected in the numbers. At $10.1 billion over the holiday season, the annualized wearables number would probably be around $33 billion and that includes Apple Watch. Sure, the math checks out, but it’s based on the assumption that Apple will sell 100 million AirPods this year, numbers we’ll never know because Apple doesn’t report sales item volume, only revenue.

These first-quarter earnings show that there is no sign of Apple slowing down. And with the next generation of consumers already indoctrinated into the Apple ecosystem, there is no doubt that Apple will continue its growth trend into 2020.

What do you think? Surprised by these results or is this to be expected? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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A tech writer on the internet for over 15 years for outlets such as Forbes, Wired, TNW, and others, Curtis is exhausted, burnt out and happy to just write buying guides and the occasional review for KnowTechie, the best tech blog your mom never told you about. Ephemeral existence for ephemeral times. Please send pitches and grainy pictures of the inside of your elbow to kevin@knowtechie.com

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