Corona lockdowns in China have ruined Apple's important Christmas business. Due to production failures in the factories, there were bottlenecks with the lucrative iPhone 14 Pro in November and December. iPhone revenues fell by a good eight percent and dragged down group sales. CEO Tim Cook was convinced that without the shortage, the iPhone business would have grown even in an overall weak smartphone market.
The Christmas quarter, shortly after new iPhone models go on sale, is traditionally the busiest time for Apple's business. Instead of the usual record figures, this time there was a drop in sales of a good five percent to 117.2 billion dollars (107.4 billion euros). The group missed the expectations of the analysts, who had expected 121 billion dollars.
Is the iPhone 14 Pro successful?
The first drop in sales in years is also due to unfavorable exchange rates, emphasized CFO Luca Maestri. At the exchange rates of the previous year, the proceeds would have grown in dollars, he said after the figures were presented on Thursday.
The iPhone business shrank by a good eight percent year-on-year to $65.8 billion. A central question for Apple's business in the near future is whether prospective customers should buy a cheaper model instead of the iPhone 14 Pro or postpone the purchase. When asked by analysts, Cook did not want to make a forecast: it is very difficult to assess and you only really know afterwards. CFO Maestri at the same time held out the prospect of at least better development for the iPhone than in the Christmas business for the current quarter.
According to calculations by the analysis company Canalys, global smartphone sales fell by 18 percent in the past quarter. Apple climbed - as always at Christmas - despite the bottlenecks, took the top spot with a market share of 25 percent and a good 73 million devices sold.
iPad and Mac: declines in the double-digit percentage range
The Mac computer business fell from $10.8 billion to $7.7 billion. In view of the weak economy and the particularly good business in the previous year, this was also expected, said Maestri. In contrast, sales of iPad tablets rose from 7.2 to 9.4 billion dollars. For the current quarter, however, Apple has announced a double-digit percentage decline for both the Mac and the iPad.
Across all product categories, Apple customers now have two billion devices in use. This is also the basis for a growing services business with subscription revenues and app fees, which brought in almost 20.8 billion dollars last year. The number of subscriptions for various services such as Apple Music or fitness recently reached 935 million, an increase of more than 150 million within twelve months.
The bottom line was a quarterly profit of just under $30 billion - $4.6 billion less than a year earlier. The stock fell more than 3 percent in after-hours trading on Thursday.