2015 Stories February 23, 2016

IDC is out today with its latest data on the wearable market — both smartwatches and more basic activity trackers— and within we get a look at Apple Watch sales for the fourth quarter of 2015.

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2015 Stories December 31, 2015

The view that Apple lost its innovative edge with the sad loss of Steve Jobs has been one of the oft-repeated criticisms of the company in recent years. But this idea is based on an entirely mythological view of Apple as a company that was constantly launching ground-breaking new product categories.

The reality is a little more mundane. The Macintosh, a truly revolutionary computer, was launched in 1984. We had to wait 17 years for the next groundbreaking product: the iPod in 2001. We had to wait six years after that for the next major product category: the iPhone in 2007. And a further three years for the iPad in 2010. (If you wanted to push things a little, you could argue that the MacBook Air was also so revolutionary that it deserves to be included; if so, we’re up to five new product categories in 26 years.)

Note, too, that none of the product categories were invented by Apple. Xerox, of course, invented the graphical user interface for personal computers. There were MP3 players before the iPod; touchscreen smartphones before the iPhone; tablets before the iPad. What Apple did in each case was what the company does best: take something clunky and used only by techies, and turn it into a slick product that will appeal to the masses.

So no, Apple never has churned out revolutionary new products on an annual basis. If we’re going to assess its performance today, it has to be against a realistic background. Zac recently reminded us of Apple’s product timeline for 2015. Looking at this in the context of a company whose true history is occasionally taking a new product category and doing it better than anyone else – and in between times merely refining its existing product ranges – how did Apple do this year … ?

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Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

2015 Stories December 23, 2015

This is our year in review. We’ll discuss everything we’ve seen, product releases, and how we feel about it all in the Apple ecosystem. The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed.

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2015 Stories December 8, 2015

Apple this year introduced several major new pieces of hardware, the iPad Pro, Apple Watch, fourth-gen Apple TV and 12-inch MacBook. Like most Apple fans, the one that had me the most excited at launch was the Apple Watch. I thought Apple Watch would have a huge impact on my daily life, but 8 months in, the new Apple device that’s actually affected by day-to-day technology usage the most is the 12-inch MacBook.

I was incredibly skeptical of the 12-inch MacBook when Apple initially announced it. As someone who types for a living, I was worried about the new butterfly keyboard being less conducive to productivity than the standard scissor keyboard. I was worried that the single USB-C port would prove to be a huge roadblock in day-to-day use. 8 months later, however, I’m entirely sold on the 12-inch MacBook and think it’s the best new product Apple introduced in 2015 and I can’t wait to see where Apple takes it in the coming years. The 12-inch MacBook has renewed my faith in the fact that Apple can still design gorgeous pieces of hardware that actually improve on and fulfill a need in the market.

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2015 Stories December 7, 2015

2015 proved to be a gigantic year for Apple in terms of shipping totally new products and seeing services go live for the first time. Apple Watch is a brand new category for the iPhone maker, the new Apple TV delivers on long-awaited update to the streaming box, and iPad Pro is every bit the giant tablet that was rumored for so long. My two absolute favorite new things from Apple this year, however, aren’t new hardware products but instead two services that have been criticized but have made a meaningful difference in my everyday life… expand full story

2015 Stories October 27, 2015

Apple has officially posted its Q4 2015 earnings results with $51.5 billion in revenue and $11.1 billion in profit from the July to September quarter. While Apple isn’t breaking out Apple Watch sales, Q4 is only the second quarter to include numbers for the product (grouped with iPods, Apple TVs, and more in the Other category) and the first to include any iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus sales. Apple previously announced over 13 million iPhone 6s and 6s Plus launch sales with purchases completed by Saturday, September 26th included in today’s numbers.

Apple® today announced financial results for its fiscal 2015 fourth quarter ended September 26, 2015. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $51.5 billion and quarterly net profit of $11.1 billion, or $1.96 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $42.1 billion and net profit of $8.5 billion, or $1.42 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 39.9 percent compared to 38 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 62 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

Here’s Apple’s breakdown of iPhone, iPad, and Mac sales from the quarter:

  • iPhone: 48 million units
  • iPad: 9.8 million units
  • Mac: 5.7 million units

Apple’s “Other” category, which holds Apple Watch, Apple TV, Beats hardware, iPods, and accessories, reported $3.04 billion in revenue. That’s update from $2.6 billion in the prior quarter.

Apple CEO Tim Cook had this to say about the quarter:

“Fiscal 2015 was Apple’s most successful year ever, with revenue growing 28% to nearly $234 billion. This continued success is the result of our commitment to making the best, most innovative products on earth, and it’s a testament to the tremendous execution by our teams,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We are heading into the holidays with our strongest product lineup yet, including iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, Apple Watch with an expanded lineup of cases and bands, the new iPad Pro and the all-new Apple TV which begins shipping this week.”

And Luca Maestri, chief financial officer at the company, said this:

“Apple’s record September quarter results drove earnings per share growth of 38% and operating cash flow of $13.5 billion,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. “We returned $17 billion to our investors during the quarter through share repurchases and dividends, and we have now completed over $143 billion of our $200 billion capital return program.”

How do these numbers relate to past performance? Apple’s Q4 results compare to the prior quarter’s $49 billion in revenue, 47 million iPhone sales, 10.9 million iPad sales, and 4.7 million Mac sales. In the same quarter a year ago, Apple reported $42.1 billion in revenue, 39 million iPhones sold, 12.3 million iPads sold, and 5.5 million Macs sold. Apple reported $10.7 billion in profit in the prior quarter and $8.5 billion in profit in the year ago quarter.

Read on for Apple’s full Q4 earnings report, and stay tuned as we await Apple’s quarterly conference call at 2 p.m. PT/ 5 p.m. ET to discuss these results. Tim Cook and Luca Maestri are expected to deliver prepared commentary on the earnings results then field questions from analysts participating on the call. expand full story

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