Apple set a record for the June quarter last quarter, driven by strong iPad and Mac sales and a wave of iPhone SE upgrades.
You can read all about the financial news here, but the company also shared a few points that may be of interest to any company that is struggling to turn its business during the current pandemic.
iPhone 12 is delayed
This year’s plans for corporate IT purchasing and 5G service rollouts may be tempered by Apple’s confirmation that this year’s iPhone 12 will ship “a few weeks later” than last year. This is in line with recent market speculation.
The pandemic is a marathon, not a sprint
Apple is certainly feeling the effects of the partial closure of its retail store and cites this as one of the reasons wearables and iPhone sales were impacted during the quarter.
What is more important is Apple’s admission that the return of business stability is not expected until a vaccine or therapeutic appears.
“I think that would add a huge boost to consumer confidence when it got started,” said CEO Tim Cook.
But until then, challenges remain.
Take that away?
Don’t plan an end to the problem, create a course – and make the safety and wellbeing of employees and customers a priority as they will remember those who don’t.
“The majority of our population will continue to work from home until the end of the year. And then we’ll see – I mean, we took an approach where we try to understand how the virus evolves over time, “Cook explained.
The travel budgets for companies are shrinking. Will you ever come back?
Will business travel budgets be one of the first cuts as more people work from home and video and conference calls are used more frequently for team discussions to industry events when business returns to normal?
Last but not least, Apple’s success in generating record revenues during the crisis shows that business can continue even when it comes to immediate needs. Remote working and virtual conferences will certainly remain part of the future mix.
I can imagine that this will also apply to this year’s iPhone launch.
WWDC (online) was a big deal
WWDC may have become an online event this year, but as expected, it was also a bigger event than ever, read between the lines of Apple’s financial appeal. Facts:
- Over 22 million viewers on all Apple streams.
- 72 hours of developer video content was provided.
- Over 200 direct engineering and design sessions were held at WWDC.
- The WWDC housed 227 virtual laboratories.
- Around 4,500 personal developer appointments took place.
Mac and iPad sales attract new customers
Both Mac and iPad sales saw strong growth in Apple’s quarter. The company admitted that supply on both platforms is currently “limited,” which gives a sense of the nature of the demand.
This is against a backdrop of massive investments in Apple’s portable productivity solutions as businesses large and small alike seek the best remote working solutions. This also happens against the background that the choice of devices for employees and the increasing preference for Macs over other computers are favored.
Cook added a little paint and admitted that the “installed base is growing” and that the new customer numbers are “still very high in the region of nearly 50%”.
“There is a lot of home work and distance learning that is positive for Mac and iPad results,” he said.
The base installed on the iPhone is high
Apple’s installed base is growing, and the iPhone SE has won over some customers who otherwise might not have done so to upgrade.
“The iPhone 11 is still the most popular smartphone, but the iPhone SE definitely contributed to our results.”
Cook also had an interesting taste to share: In the US: “We had the two best-selling smartphones. In the UK we had three of the top 4. In Australia we had five of the top six. And in Japan we had the first four. “
The iPhone 11 was also the best-selling smartphone in China.
Yes, people are investing in digital entertainment
At home with the children? Digital entertainment services help meet the challenge. As a result, Apple’s services are growing – although not all may be growing as fast as others. The result? As expected, Apple doubled its revenue targets for fiscal 2016 ahead of schedule.
What Cook said about this is interesting too, and I will repeat it in full as I think it can become a guiding star for many companies during the pandemic:
“We recognize that at a time of real economic hardship, these results are a great relief for businesses large and small, and certainly families. We don’t have a zero-sum approach to wealth, and especially at times like this, we focus on growing the cake to make sure our success isn’t just our success and that everything we make, build, or do is aimed at creating Opportunities for others. “
And digital health is becoming a reality
iPads and iPhones saw heavy use in healthcare during the pandemic. Doctors use these devices to provide virtual visits to inpatients, rather than wandering through wards and potentially putting people at risk.
Outside the hospital: “Hospitals like UVA Health, Rush University Medical Center and UC Sand Diego Health use apps on iPad and iPhone to examine, monitor and care for patients who are at home,” the company said.
These patterns are mirrored around the world as hospitals and patients use these devices to address the many challenges of the pandemic, from diagnosis to reporting to long-term care. Virtual mental health care provision is also increasing as such services are now offered by providers worldwide.
As with remote working, this can be a pivotal moment for new models of healthcare.
Apple as a service: It’s not impossible
The Apple Card is developing into a passport that enables Apple products to be purchased for long-term interest-free transactions. Apple referred to this, as well as product trade-ins, as tools that allow customers to pay for devices and get slight discounts over time (and an Apple Pay Cash reward of 3%).
This is Apple as a service.
You just need a credit rating. (Apple as a Service is currently a US product.)
For the two-year transition from Apple Silicon
Apple promised that the move to Apple Silicon would (as expected) produce “unprecedented performance” for the Mac – and gave us a more precise two-year timetable for the transition.
It is very unlikely that Apple will offer Apple Silicon to third parties – although Cook refused to make a statement he called “forever”. However, Apple Silicon will enable the company to create new solutions and products that it could not otherwise achieve.
Make what you want out of it, but as the chips get smaller and cheaper, the products they power will multiply. I can even imagine building manufacturing or sales systems with iPhone chips as the main CPU – maybe Industry 4.0 developers should think about that?
The importance of values
Apple launched the call with a statement in honor of Congressman John Lewis. During the call, it referred to the support it has given in relation to COVID-19, its commitment to building more affordable housing to cope with the dire homelessness crisis in Silicon Valley, its commitment to investing in its Racial Justice and Justice initiative and on its move to become climate neutral across the entire supply chain by 2030.
Referring specifically to the values that drive the company, Cook stated:
“There are times when things seem to move slowly, when it is necessary to make progress, when economic or social scenes falter, when the instinct to turn away from the horizon and hold on to what one has, feels inescapable. And then there are times like this when people of goodwill step forward, when progress loosens on its own, when the insistence on hope forces something new.
“This is an immensely challenging moment. COVID-19 is still ravaging many places and we still have a lot to do to ensure the health and well-being of the communities where we all live and work. But not a community of people, Whether a company or a country can afford to miss that call when it comes. At Apple we never have and we don’t intend to start now. “
Values matter. They’ll be even more important when it comes to repairing the damage.
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