Despite iPhone decline, Apple logs record quarter growth (Lead)

Cupertino (California), Oct 31 (IANS) Riding once again on its Services and Wearable business even as iPhone sales dropped 9 per cent, Apple has posted a strong revenue of $64 billion — an increase of 2 per cent from the year-ago quarter — for its fiscal 2019 fourth quarter that ended on September 28.

Services revenue hit an all-time high of $12.5 billion while global sales accounted for 60 per cent of the quarter’s revenue. For its full fiscal year, Apple generated over $46 billion in total services revenue.

“We concluded a groundbreaking fiscal 2019 with our highest Q4 revenue ever, fueled by accelerating growth from Services, Wearables and iPad,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.

Apple’s profit dipped 3 per cent to $13.7 billion, but the $3.03 earnings per share (EPS) met analyst projections.

“With customers and reviewers raving about the new generation of iPhones, new, noise-cancelling AirPods Pro, the hotly-anticipated arrival of Apple TV+, and our best lineup of products and services, we’re very optimistic about what the holiday quarter has in store,” Cook elaborated.

“All told, outside of iPhone, our revenue grew by $17 billion to almost $118 billion,” for the full fiscal year,” he added.

Apple forecasts revenue between $85.5 billion and $89.5 billion for its fiscal 2019 first quarter and operating expenses between $9.6 billion and $9.8 billion.

“Our strong business performance drove record Q4 EPS of $3.03 and record Q4 operating cash flow of $19.9 billion,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO.

“We also returned over $21 billion to shareholders, including almost $18 billion in share repurchases and $3.5 billion in dividends and equivalents, as we continue on our path to reaching a net cash neutral position over time,” he added.

According to Cook, the company set new Q4 revenue records in the Americas and Rest of Asia Pacific and saw further improvement in our revenue trends in Greater China.

“Outside of iPhone, our September quarter revenue was up 17 per cent. We reached a new all-time high for Services with growth accelerating to 18 per cent. We generated well over 50 per cent revenue growth from Wearables,” said Cook.

iPhone revenue in the September quarter was $33 billion.

“This 9 per cent decline over last year is a significant improvement over the 15 per cent decline we saw across the first three quarters,” Cook noted.
In the iPad segment, Apple generated 17 per cent growth driven by iPad Pro.

Apple saw double-digit services revenue growth and all-time records in all five of its geographic segments.

“We established new all-time highs for multiple services categories including the App Store, AppleCare, Music, cloud services and our App Store search ad business. We are well on our way to accomplishing our goal of doubling our fiscal year 2016 Services revenue during 2020,” Cook told the analysts.

For Apple Pay, revenue and transactions more than doubled year-over-year with over 3 billion transactions in the September quarter exceeding PayPal’s number of transactions and growing four times as fast.

Apple Pay is now live in 49 markets around the world with over 6,000 issuers on the platform.

Apple Card was launched in August in the US.

“Users kind of apply for Apple Card through the wallet app on iPhone in minutes and start using it right away in stores, in apps and on websites. They’ve told us they love Apple Card’s simplicity, privacy, security and transparency, which has helped them make healthier financial choices,” Cook mentioned.

Later this year, the company is adding another feature to simply manage payments right in the Apple Wallet app on iPhone.

Cook was quite bullish on Apple’s game streaming service Arcade and the Apple TV+.

Apple Arcade’s subscribers get unlimited access to a curated selection of games from many of the most innovative developers in the world with almost 100 new titles playable across iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and Apple TV.

The company is set to launch its video streaming service Apple TV Plus on November 1.

“We’re launching the hotly anticipated Apple TV+ in over 100 countries and regions. It’s the first all original video subscription service, which shows from the best, most ambitious and most creative minds in the industry,” announced Cook.

For Mac, Apple generated $7 billion in revenue.

“We are incredibly proud of our accomplishments over the course of a remarkable fiscal 2019, a year where we crossed $100 billion in revenue in the US for the first time,” said Cook.

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