Apple is having one helluva pandemic. The world's most valuable tech brand last night reported stellar numbers for its Q2 of fiscal 2021 [PDF] ended 27 March, with revenue up 53 per cent to $89.584bn and profit more than doubling.
Give or take a billion or three, Apple made almost as much profit in the quarter – $23.63bn versus $11.249bn a year earlier – as some tech "giants" reported in sales for the whole of 2020. HPE springs to mind.
Every product division swelled in size, including the biggest: iPhones sales jumped 65 per cent year-on-year to $47.938bn. CEO Tim Cook said this was helped by the delayed launch of the iPhone 12, which came out in the quarter as opposed to the usual autumn timeframe.
Cook said Apple benefited from consumers switching to its mobile and from upgraders. "I think probably some portion of this was that people probably delayed purchasing in the – in the previous quarter as rumours started appearing about an iPhone."
The percentage growth was no doubt helped by a weaker comparison period a year ago when China was dealing with the outbreak of COVID-19 and was entering lockdown, which led to the closure of non-essential retail.
Mac sales jumped 70 per cent to $9.102bn and the iPad was up 24 per cent to $7.807bn, "reflecting the continuing role these devices have played in our users' lives during the COVID-19 pandemic," said the CEO. The iPad Air and Macs containing the M1 chip started to ship in the quarter. Apple CFO Luca Maestri said "around half" of these sales were to entirely new clients.
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Wearables, Home and Accessories grew to $7.836bn from $6.284bn in the prior quarter. This was due to "significant holiday demand," said Cook, and was led by the Watch, AirPods, and the HomePod mini.
A big play for Apple is Services, and here the company reported turnover of $16.901bn, up from $13.348bn. This was the first quarter of Apple One, a bundle of services sold as a single subscription.
Cook said the Q2 results "caps off the most challenging year any of us can remember" but clearly one in which the organisation he runs was able to wring out even higher profits from an existing and expanding installed base.
Despite the big numbers in full affect in Q2, Maestri said: "Given the continued uncertainty around the world in the near term, we will not be guiding to a specific revenue range" for future quarters this year. ®