Apple Inc. is having a very good year.
The Cupertino, Calif-based tech giant reported its largest-ever quarterly revenue on Thursday, growing by double digits in several developed markets, including Canada.
Total revenue for the company’s fourth quarter, which finished at the end of September, was $52.6 billion (all figures USD) – above the high end of Apple’s prediction’s, CEO Tim Cook noted in a conference call with investors, and a 12 per cent gain over last year.
That revenue was the result of growth across all product categories, he said, along with Apple’s services division, which posted record results too.
“I have to say I couldn’t be more excited about Apple’s future,” Cook said. “We had particularly strong finish this year, generating our highest September quarter revenue ever.”
iPhone sales in particular exceeded the company’s expectations, Cook said, with 46.7 million iPhones sold during the quarter, a three per cent gain over last year.
Somewhat surprisingly, Apple also reported its second consecutive quarter of double-digit unit growth for the iPad, which sold 10.3 million units during the quarter – a gain of 11 per cent over last year.
“Customers have responded very positively to the new iPad lineup,” Cook said, adding that “with the launch of iOS 11, the iPad experience has become more powerful than ever, with great new features for getting things done like the new dock, Files app, drag and drop, multitasking and more power than most PC notebooks.”
The Mac, too, had its best-ever year, Cook said, bolstered by a record September quarter that saw 5.4 million Macs sold during the September quarter, a 10 per cent gain over last year. Mac revenue for the year grew by 25 per cent, to $25.8 billion.
Even the Apple Watch, which Cook called “the best selling and most loved smartwatch in the world,” had a great year, posting unit growth of more than 50 per cent for a third consecutive quarter, he said.
“We began shipping Apple Watch Series 3 just six weeks ago and customers love the new freedom of cellular,” Cook said. “The ability to go for a run with just your Apple Watch or go for a quick errand without your phone while staying connected is a game changer. Now more than ever, Apple Watch is the ultimate device for a healthy life and is already making a big difference in our customers’ lives.”
In fact, Cook said, the company’s entire wearables business was up 75 per cent year over year in both the fourth quarter and fiscal 2017, and is generating the annual revenue of a Fortune 400 company.
Not just products having a stellar year
Sales numbers aside, iPhone user satisfaction was at record highs too, according to Apple CFO Luca Maestri, who cited 451 Research data indicating that iOS customer satisfaction among corporate smartphone buyers was 95 per cent – the iPhone’s highest score in the survey’s history – and that 80 per cent of buyers planning to purchase smartphones in December planned to purchase an iPhone.
Maestri said the company is also seeing “great momentum” with enterprise initiatives, such as a partnership with Accenture announced in August to create new iOS-based business solutions, and a partnership with General Electric announced last month to bringing the manufacturing giant’s industrial IoT platform to iOS.
Services revenue, meanwhile, reached an all-time quarterly high of $8.5 billion, placing Apple well on its way to reaching its goal of doubling its 2016 services revenue of $24 billion by the year 2020. For now, the company’s services division earned $30 billion in revenue in 2017, already making it the size of a Fortune 100 company.
The division also has more than more than 210 million paid subscribers, Maestri noted.
Our thanks to investment research platform Seeking Alpha for the transcriptions from Apple’s Nov. 2 Q4 earnings call.