Because the quarter’s results didn’t include sales of the iPhone 12, which some analysts expect to generate a massive wave of upgrades, “I think in that sense you shouldn’t read too much into them,” said Tom Johnson, chief transformation officer at Mindshare Worldwide.
On a call with analysts Thursday afternoon, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that sales in the China market in particular were affected by the lack of a new iPhone during the September quarter. Sales in China fell nearly 29% during the three months.
However, Cook said business in China, a key market for Apple, is improving during the current quarter.
“Given initial data points that we see on iPhone 12 and 12 Pro,” Cook said, “we are confident that we will grow this quarter in China. We’re very bullish on what’s going on there.”
Still, Apple noted that international sales contributed 59% of the September quarter’s revenue.
The pandemic still appears to be benefiting other areas of Apple’s business. Revenue from its services segment grew more than 16% from the same quarter last year, to $14.5 billion, and sales from Mac grew 29% to $9 billion — both record highs, the company said.
The company declined to provide official revenue guidance for the current quarter, something investors were hoping for, the better to gauge demand for the new iPhone 12. Maestri cited “continued uncertainty around the world” in explaining the decision.
“Despite the strong iPad and Mac sales, iPhone revenue is down and the lack of guidance for the new iPhone 12 sales is not good news for Apple,” said Mindshare Worldwide’s Johnson
Maestri and Cook both said they’re “bullish” about iPhone 12 sales during the December quarter.
“Given the tremendously positive response (to the iPhone 12 lineup), we expect iPhone revenue to grow during the December quarter, despite shipping iPhone 12 and 12 Pro four weeks into the quarter, and iPhone 12 Mini and 12 Pro Max seven weeks into the quarter,” Maestri said. The company expects sales of all non-iPhone products, in aggregate, and services to grow by double digits, he added.
As for Cook, “we’ve got a once-in-a-decade opportunity with 5G, there’s a lot of excitement around 5G, and we’ve got some aggressive offers in the marketplace,” he said. “And so when I think about all of those, and I look at initial data points that we’ve got on the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro, we are off to a great start.”
Apple on Thursday also announced a cash dividend of $0.205 per share, to be paid out on Nov. 12 to anyone who held shares as of Nov. 9.