Apple turned in stellar results for the 2019 holiday quarter, including strong growth in its services business and a return to growth in iPhone revenue, which climbed more than seven per cent.
Revenue hit an all-time quarterly high of $US91.82 billion ($A135.78 billion), up nine per cent versus the year-ago period, for the three months ended December 28, 2019. Earnings per share were $US4.99, up 19 per cent, also a record.
The tech behemoth handily beat Wall Street expectations, impressive given the company’s already massive size. Analysts on average expected Apple to post $88.38 billion in revenue and EPS of $US4.54 for the period, which is its fiscal first quarter of 2020.
Apple reported a record $US12.72 billion in services revenue, up 17 per cent year over year. The services segment comprises a diverse group offerings, including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, Apple News Plus, Apple Pay and iCloud. The company doesn’t break out results for any of the specific services.
Apple’s Wearables, Home and Accessories unit — which includes its AirPods products — saw sales soar 37 per cent, to $US10.01 billion.
“We are thrilled to report Apple’s highest quarterly revenue ever, fuelled by strong demand for our iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models, and all-time records for Services and Wearables,” CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.
In its earnings announcement, Apple did not reveal specific results for Apple TV Plus — its foray into the subscription-streaming biz — which debuted November 1 with a handful of original programming. The service is regularly $US4.99 per month but it’s free 12 months to customers who buy a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac or iPod touch. The “vast majority” of Apple TV Plus’ estimated 33.6 million US users as of the end of 2019 were not paying for it, according to research firm Ampere Analysis.
For the company’s core iPhone family, sales were $US55.96 billion, up 7.6 per cent. Analysts had been upbeat on projections of stronger-than-expected sales of the iPhone 11, which began shipping September 20. The newest iPhone model put an emphasis on photo and video features.
Apple’s overall installed base of devices topped 1.5 billion in the year-end 2019 quarter, according to the company. “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,” Cook said.
Apple’s revenue grew in all regions worldwide except Japan. Sales sagged during fiscal Q1 2020 in the company’s iPad (down 11 per cent to $US5.98 billion) and Mac (down three per cent, to $US7.16 billion) segments.