Apple’s earnings report this week included a lot of staggering numbers. As of noon Friday the company was valued by the market at 2.2 trillion dollars, the largest in the world. Skeptics have questioned whether the company can continue to grow rapidly, if at all. As written here many times, the skeptics have underestimated the potential of Apple’s services business which includes iCloud storage, Apple Music, and the App Store. Services revenue was just shy of $16 billion for the quarter, approaching the goal of a $50 billion a year business. Sales for every product category showed double-digit growth. Total revenue for the quarter was $111.44 billion up 21% year over year. Growing more than 20% on such a huge base is staggering.
Skeptics have said people would not pay $1,000 for an iPhone. Turns out people are more than willing to do so and, in fact, paid more than $1,000, helped by financing plans from Apple and carriers. With the Apple Upgrade plan, I pay $58.25 per month and get a new iPhone every year. I order the new iPhone when it open for orders. When it arrives, I place it on my desk next to my old iPhone. The new iPhone copies all my apps, data, and settings from the old phone to the new iPhone. I then put the old iPhone in a box Apple FedEx’ed to me and return it to Apple. Done.
Placing the monthly charge on my Apple Card, I get $1.75 (3%) in Apple Cash which accumulates and can be spent from the iPhone Wallet. I don’t think of it as paying $1,000+ for the iPhone 12 Pro Max. I think of it as paying $56.50 per month for a personal supercomputer. I am not alone in my passion for the iPhone. After the past quarter, there are now more than one billion iPhones out there.
During the quarter, Apple shipped 90.1 million iPhones. Imagine more than one million iPhones every day, 41,713 shipped per hour, 695 per minute, and 11.6 per second. The staggering numbers are hard to imagine. Apple’s revenue was $501,000 per minute. The seemingly flawless supply chain and logistics for delivery are even harder to imagine.
Behind everything Apple does is an incredible customer support process. Whoever is in second place for support is not even close. I agree no business can grow straight up forever, but I see no signs of things slowing down at Apple. As for the stock price, who knows? A wise friend once told me, “Never confuse a great company with a great stock.”
Disclosure: I am an investor in Apple. I am not making any recommendation about whether the stock will go or down from where it is. I am simply reporting on what I see as a great company doing amazing things.