Apple announced its latest quarterly financials last night, and predictably made a shedload more money: revenues of $37.4bn and a net profit of $7.7bn, up from $35.3bn and $6.9bn respectively in the corresponding quarter last year.
Apple sold 35.2m iPhones in the second quarter of this year, up 13% year-on-year, and 15.3m iPads. But the star of the show was the iTunes Store, which was called out by CEO Tim Cook in the company’s earnings call with analysts.
“For the first nine months of this fiscal year, the line item that we call iTunes software and services has been the fastest growing part of our business,” said Cook. “iTunes billings grew 25% year-over-year in the June quarter and reached an all-time quarterly high, thanks to the very strong results from the App Store.”
And that’s the predictable twist: the iTunes Store is a booming business for Apple: billings of $5.4bn (meaning actual consumer spending) in the last quarter. But it’s apps driving the growth, not music. The App Store is now past 75bn downloads and $20bn paid out to developers, more than half of which came in the last year.
Cook also talked Beats, a bit: “Beats provides Apple with a fantastic subscription music service, access to rare talent and a fast growing line up of products that we can build upon,” he told analysts, although there were no details on how fast Apple plans to roll the Beats Music subscription service out globally, and whether it will remain separate from or merge with iTunes Radio.
In fairness, analysts are never that interested in asking about Apple’s music activities nowadays, being more focused on the margins of its hardware business.