Apple’s announcement last night of its latest quarterly financials came as something of a relief, given the overheated speculation about the numbers in recent weeks.
Here are the key figures for the first quarter of this year: $43.6bn of revenues and $9.5bn of net profit, as Apple sold 37.4m iPhones and 19.5m iPads.
Revenues were up 11.2% year-on-year, with iPhone sales up 6.6% and iPad sales up 65.3% in the same period, but it’s the 18.1% fall in net profits that’s fuelling more speculation about Apple losing its mojo.
CEO Tim Cook made a plain-speaking admission that his company has more work to do, in its analyst call last night. “Though we’ve achieved incredible scale and financial success, we acknowledge that our growth rate has slowed and our margins have decreased from the exceptionally high level we experienced in 2012.”
Although with a cash balance of $145bn – a big chunk of which can be redistributed to shareholders in an attempt to reinvigorate Apple’s share price – the company isn’t on its uppers just yet.
The key issue is momentum though: Apple still has it with those rising unit-sales and revenues, but rival Samsung is increasingly seen as having more of it. Cook promised “some amazing new hardware, software, and services that we can’t wait to introduce this fall and throughout 2014” – no iRadio music service this summer, then – but Apple remains under unaccustomed levels of critical scrutiny, and will be for some time.
Other music-related stats of note: iPod sales fell 27.3% year-on-year to 5.6m units in the last quarter; iTunes revenues were up 28% to $2.4bn with quarterly revenue records for apps, movies AND music; the iTunes Store now has a catalogue of 35m songs across its 119 countries; and the App Store has generated 45bn downloads and more than $9bn of payouts for developers – with half of that coming in the last year.