As promised, Apple will hold its quarterly conference call with investors and analysts at 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET to discuss its fiscal year 2015 second quarter results. These numbers include sales of 61.1 million iPhones, 12.6 million iPads, and 4.5 million Macs. Apple also reported $58 billion in revenue during FY 2015 Q2. During the latter half of the call, analysts and investors will have the opportunity to ask Tim Cook and company questions regarding today’s results and Apple’s future. While today’s earnings do not include Apple Watch sales and Apple doesn’t plan to disclose sales numbers, expect Tim Cook to at mention the company’s latest device. Stay tuned for our live coverage below:
– Waiting music is also live. You can listen at home here or refresh to follow our coverage below as the call progresses.
– 11 minute warning!
– We should be close folks.
– Here we go: CEO Tim Cook to lead then CFO Luca Maestri.
– Tim clears throat during forward looking statements disclaimer. Noted.
– Tim greets everyone. Says Apple’s strongest March quarter ever.
– Highest rate of switchers to iPhone than recent quarters.
– Says the App Store had its best quarter ever.
– 27 acquisitions made in last 6 quarters, investing in infrastructure.
– Cook mentions this morning’s Discover card news for Apple Pay, coming this fall
– Best Buy bringing Apple Pay to its app now, in stores this fall
– More than 1,000 apps using HealthKit
– Tim says June quarter off to exciting start with new MacBook which Cook calls the future of the notebook, HBO Now, and Apple Watch
– More than 3500 apps for Apple Watch
– Luca Maestri takes over before Q&A kicks off
– Says Greater China revenue set a new record, now recapping results
– Luca Maestri talking iPad and IBM partnership, says top performer in sales, customer sat, apps
– 22% YOY growth in Apple Store visits, still expanding retail footprint with 40 stores in Greater China by mid-2016
– Maestri discussing stock buyback expansion, expanded 5 quarters, will update program around this time next year
– Q&A begins!
– First question from Bill Shope at Goldman Sachs regarding how profit is impacted by global currency. Maestri says its part of business and results in price increases in some markets.
– Follow up question on customer mix of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sales. Cook says Apple continues to see higher rate of switchers than in previous cycles as mentioned before. Says Apple continues to see reasonable percentage of first time buyers.
– Kate Huberty, Morgan Stanley: Is Watch ramping slower than past product categories? Cook asks if ramp means supply. Cook says demand greater than supply. Making progress on last week or so and working to remedy that. Says communicating earlier ship times for some customers than previously communicated. Says Watch is a new product and will take some time to ramp. Says sometime in late June expects to begin being in position to sell Apple Watch in more countries. Says learnings about different configuration preferences and making adjustments to get in line with demand.
– Follow up question: What’s driving long period of elevated research and development spending? Maestri says current product is much broader than it used to be, developing two iPhones, two iPads, Apple Watch now, developing core foundational technologies more in house now than in the past and spending ahead on some of the products that will generate revenue in the future.
– Gene Munster: Asks what more switchers than previous cycles could mean for marketshare and what Watch impact could be as it ramps over next couple of years. Cook says worldwide iPhone at multiple of the market in each country. Feels good about where Apple is and strong guidance should show company is bullish on current quarter. Pleased with first time buyer number as well. Says tough to find something in the numbers not to like. Cook says about 20% of active install base has upgraded to iPhone 6 or 6 Plus leaving plenty of upgrade headroom and inviting over more switchers and first time buyers.
– Next question from Toni Sacconaghi at Bernstein: Consensus is Apple will ship more Watches than iPads in its first two quarters despite limited supply and current product demand. How should we think about demand in context with other new categories like iPad. Cook says he’s thrilled with Apple Watch launch so far and shouldn’t read any further than that. Says customer response close to 100% positive.
– Follow up question: Watch will have lower margin in third quarter. Will margins be lower than company average in future? Cook says Apple won’t give guidance outside of current quarter. Says Watch gross margins in current quarter are lower than company average, intuitive that they would be. Asked if anything unique about Watch being in its first quarter that will impact margins. Cook says first quarter of a new product is a learning period. Says product being made now is incredible.
– Next question, Shannon Cross, Cross Research: More color on iPhone performance in Greater China? Cook says iPhone led the way with its strong quarter in March as US has strong quarter in December. Says Mac had unbelievable quarter in China with unit sales up 31% “bucking the tide” of PC market. Says App Store grew over 100% year-over-year for Greater China. Apple working significantly to expand ecosystem in China by adding UnionPay payment option and entering many more cities than before. Says online store revenue 3x year-over-year. 21 Apple Stores in Greater China now, 40 by mid-2016. Adding 50 new cities with 2-day delivery in China by next quarter to total 365. Nearly $5 billion in payments made to developers in Greater China, over half made in last 12 months. Middle class expansion cited.
Follow up: What is needed to reenergize iPad? Cook says improve sell through rate, adds that other Apple products do eat into the iPad, IBM partnership in early stages but Cook likes it. Says underlying data makes iPad appear better than sales numbers alone. First time buyer rates and intent-to-buy numbers paint a better picture. Says making an investment in product pipeline as has been planned. Won’t predict when iPad will grow again but strongly predicts that it will.
– Next question, Steve Molonvich at UBS: Asked about decision for specific numbers in latest buyback program. Maestri says Apple is confident in current product lineup and future product pipeline so Apple confident in value of its stock. Company plans to increase dividend each year. Will update in a year based on better information. Program largely funded by raising debt in the United States and overseas. Comfortable with program based on balance sheet.
– Next question very inaudible, Cook asks to repeat second half. Asks if 6 and 6 Plus switcher rate is significantly higher year-over-year. Cook says data comparison isn’t in front of him but many more iPhone users left to upgrade aside from switchers.
– Next question about iPhone sales in emerging markets as Cook cited expanding middle class in China. Cook says looking at emerging markets that revenues were up 58% year-over-year with that being a little over 40% of company revenue.
– Follow up question: HBO Now and similar services as a strategy to sell more devices or something else? Cook says a lot of traction there but won’t speculate about where it will go. Says early stages of media consumption and Apple will be a part of that.
– That’s a wrap. The call will be available on iTunes as a podcast shortly.