Friday, November 3, 2023

Apple’s Q4 2023 Results

Apple (transcript, Hacker News, MacRumors:

The Company posted quarterly revenue of $89.5 billion, down 1 percent year over year, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $1.46, up 13 percent year over year.

“Today Apple is pleased to report a September quarter revenue record for iPhone and an all-time revenue record in Services,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

Jason Snell:

Mac revenue was $7.6 billion, down 34%. iPad revenue was $6.4 billion, down 10%. iPhone revenue was $43.8 billion, up 3%.

John Gruber:

Mac sales are down quite a bit year over year, both on a quarterly basis and trailing 12-month period, but I don’t think that’s a reflection on the Mac platform. Rather, it’s the whole PC market, which is now in a downswing after a huge surge during the early COVID years.


Update (2023-11-22): See also: MacRumors.

Update (2023-12-06): Jason Snell:

But by using this excuse, Cook and Maestri are deflecting attention from the real, incontrovertible numbers: Mac revenue for fiscal 2023 was $29.4 billion, down 27 percent from the previous year’s record $40.2 billion. That’s a “tough compare” that includes both the quarter where the Mac was affected by factory shutdowns and the quarter where Apple sold a whole bunch of Macs in order to fulfill demand. Put them together, and it’s still a stupendous drop in sales. This year’s Mac revenue number was also down 20% from fiscal 2021 when Apple sold $35.2 billion in Macs. So it’s a dramatic drop from the last two years of Mac sales, no matter how you slice it.

But here’s the thing: look back to Mac revenue in 2019 and 2020, before the Mac sales surge driven by the COVID pandemic and the switch to Apple silicon. In those years, Mac revenue was $25.7 billion and $28.6 billion, respectively. If you think of the last couple of years as an aberration, the Mac is back where it was—in fact, it’s up 2.6% from fiscal 2020.


As Stratechery’s Ben Thompson quipped: “So just to recap, Apple’s Services revenue saw a step-change increase in revenue with increased margin, and Apple executives don’t want to talk about it.” Like Ben, I wonder if maybe the dynamic includes changes to the money Apple makes on Google search referrals, which are a large part of the Services line that Apple never, ever, ever talks about in these calls. And of course, right now Google is on trial and that search deal is one of the big topics of conversation.

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Hmm. Lower revenues, higher profits.

Now you know why your storage upgrades are so damned expensive.

Down 34% is rough, but 2020 through 2022 are the only years where Q4 revenue has been higher. (Since at least 2011, anyway.)

I think Gruber is right that those years are an aberration largely due to COVID-induced WFH policies. The move to ARM also played a role, but not that much, I suspect.

2017 through 2019, Q4 revenue was between 7.0 and 7.3B, so we seem to be at those levels (perhaps slightly above) again.

Not sure it's a good idea to be super excited about the services all-time revenue record considering that:
- the Google annual gift may go away.
- it would be surprising the streaming service is not going to suffer from the strikes in Hollywood.

BTW, still waiting to see an app developed by Tim Cook on the App Store, since "Everyone can code"…

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