We would love to start this story with “Everybody’s favourite recession-proof handset manufacturer”, but with the release of the the second quarter earnings report from Apple appears to be losing money for the first time in a long time.
The report revealed that net sales had fallen to $50.5 billion (R728 billion) compared to $58 billion (R836.8 billion) in the same period last year. It’s the first time year-on-year sales have fallen since 2003.
That translates to a net profit of $10.5bn (R148bn), compared to R13.6bn (R193bn) last year.
Chief executive officer Tim Cook remained upbeat, saying “…our team executed extremely well in the face of strong macroeconomic headwinds,” but company projections are for further revenue declines in coming months.
Earnings are expected to continue on the downward trend with revenue for the third quarter of the year pegged at between $41 billion (R591.5 billion) and $43 billion (R620.3 billion), a sizable drop compared to the $46 billion – $48 billion (R663.6 billion – R692.5 billion) it was expecting last year. The major reason for the fall is that iPhone sales are flagging by comparison to previous years.
While it’s hardly bad news for Apple, it’s quarterly profit is still the equivalent of a fifth of our GDP, the firm’s share price reflects the fact that up until now Apple has been a growth machine in the age of the smartphone. Over the course of the year, the share value had fallen by almost 20% and it dropped even further after the earnings report came out.
The International Business Times reports that Apple shares fell 8% after the report was issued. While that doesn’t sound like a big deal, it represents a loss in market value of around $40 billion (R577.1 billion).
By the close of trading yesterday however, the Cupertino-based tech giant had recovered about $12 billion (R173.1 billion) of that market value.
The low earnings were expected since Apple projected them at the end of 2015.
What is next for Apple then? Well, at the very least the next iPhone, which is expected around September, could spur sales along. Many Apple fans skipped out on the iPhone 6s, instead waiting for the iPhone 7, or whatever Apple decides to call its next flagship phone.
While this is bad news, Apple does have approximately $200 billion, or R2.9 trillion in offshore reserves, so don’t feel too bad about not buying the iPhone 6s.
UPDATED 29/4 The original version of this story stated that Apple recorded a loss. Of course that’s not true and the results reflect a fall in profit to merely megatons of cash, rather than gigatons.