The final quarter of 2015 provided another financial record for Apple, but only just.
The company’s quarterly revenues of $75.9bn were up 1.7% year-on-year, with Apple warning that it expects its revenues from the current quarter to be down year-on-year for the first time in 13 years.
What’s slowing the company’s growth down? iPhone sales have flattened out. Apple sold 74.8m of its smartphones in the final quarter of 2015, up just 0.4% year-on-year, and missing analyst predictions of 75m sales for the quarter.
CEO Tim Cook warned analysts that Apple has seen “some signs of economic softness in Greater China earlier this month” – a key market for his company – as well as “slowing economic growth” in Brazil, Russia, Japan and Canada.
Other figures of interest: Apple sold 16.1m iPads in the final quarter of 2015, down from 21.4m a year before; but the company did provide a new stat.
“Our installed base recently crossed a major milestone of one billion active devices,” said Cook. That’s up 25% year-on-year, but it’s a figure covering iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple TVs and Apple Watches.
Even so, Apple is touting this stat as a reason why its services business – music included – remains undervalued.
There were no new figures – or even discussion – for Apple Music, beyond the 10 million subscribers number announced earlier this year.
But Cook did start a few rumour-drums beating with his comments on virtual reality, when asked by an analyst whether he thought VR was a “geeky niche or something that could go mainstream”.
Cook’s reply: “No, I don’t think it’s a niche. I think it can be… it’s really cool and has some interesting applications.”