Apple announced its fourth quarter earnings yesterday, showing strong growth for the iPhone, and for its enterprise business. It also confirmed that Apple Pay is coming to Canada before the end of the year.
Quarterly revenues hit $51.5 billion (all figures in US dollars), up from $42.1 billion year on year, and quarterly net profit reached $11.1 billion, increasing from $8.5 billion.
The year’s revenue grew 28 per cent to $234 billion, representing the largest growth ever, and net income reached over $53 billion, said Apple CEO Tim Cook.
The new iPhones that Apple launched in September have performed well, with sales up 22 per cent year on year in Q4. Cook believes that sales will continue to grow in the first quarter.
Emerging markets are a particular growth area for the iPhone, which grew revenues $120 million in mainland China. Sales will continue to increase as LTE continues to roll out in emerging markets, said Cook.
“We see an enormous change in China over the next several years. The latest study I’ve seen from McKinsey indicates that if you look back five years ago China’s middle class had 50m people in it,” he said “If you look ahead five years it will have ten times that number,” he said. “These aren’t one-quarter things, these are longer-term things.”
Apple made $79 billion from emerging markets in fiscal 2015 across all of its products and services.
The company recorded the highest rate of people switching to the iPhone from Android during the fourth quarter, at 30 per cent. Upgrades from pre-iPhone 6 users buying new phones were in the low thirties, creating lots of headroom for further upgrades, he said.
The company has an upgrade program for the iPhone among retailers, and many carriers are offering similar plans in over a dozen countries around the world. “It would have a positive impact on replacement cycles,” said Cook, adding that he expected to see it have a significant impact on iPhone revenues around a year from now.
The firm didn’t break out sales of the Apple Watch, but said that they were up sequentially and exceeding expectations.
Another announcement for the company was a partnership with American Express, which would see its Apple Pay mobile payments system expand into Canada and Australia by the end of this year.
Payment processor Moneris welcomed that move, saying that around 85 per cent of its merchant locations – that’s 297,500 outlets – are capable of taking contactless payments today, meaning that they will be able to make Apple Pay transactions when it becomes available.
“We believe the greatest success for Apple Pay is with adoption from card brands and issuers across the spectrum, and we look forward to even more payment choices for merchants and consumers over time,” said Moneris CEO Angela Brown.
Enterprise business is also growing well for Apple. It made $25 billion in revenue from enterprise customers in the last 12 months, up 40 per cent over the prior year, the firm said. IBM is a strong enterprise partner for the firm, following the partnership that it announced with the firm in July 2014 to provide enterprise applications and services for the iPad.
IBM now has 55 apps in its MobileFirst catalogue as part of that deal, and the company itself uses over 30,000 Macs with 1900 more added each week.
More broadly, in Q4 Apple added 25 mobility partners to help it drive enterprise sales, making 65 of those partners in total.