back to article Apple hauls in $52.6bn in Q4, iPhone, iPad and Mac sales all up

Apple's coined it for another quarter. Cupertino on Thursday US time revealed fourth quarter revenue of US$52.6 billion, up a dozen per cent compared to Q4 in 2016. 46 million iPhones accounted for $28.8bn, 10.3 million iPads generated $4.8bn and 5.4m Macintosh computers brought in $7.1bn. On the company's earnings call, CEO …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Move along there.

    Is this really news?

    Apple making gazillions is the norm isn't it?

    If they didn't then it would be news and a perfect place for the haters to gloat.

    Like every large conglomerate, they are doomed to fail in the end. Just when that is, is open to question.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Move along there, Steve

      I remember that great video clip where Steve Ballmer made derisory remarks about the iPhone when it first came out and spent several minutes laughing at it.

      But looking at the recently released financials for Apple and Microsoft, I notice that Microsoft had total sales of $24.5bn, but Apple had, in the same quarter, $28.8bn sales just from iPhones.

      Which amused me, anyway...

      Apple's total revenue in that quarter was $52.6bn.

      Over the full year, Microsoft's revenue was $90bn whereas Apple's was $229bn.

      Here is the clip:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eywi0h_Y5_U

  2. SuccessCase

    The news is the turnaround this represents in The Register’s reporting from the days when they were literally running a “Peak Apple” campaign; they virtually “coined the phrase” and used it in every headline and every article about Apple they could at every opportunity. A reporting style based on wish, trolling and spite and having nothing whatever to do with fact.

    The unreported news however was that, gradually, over-time, it was becoming obvious that more and more Register journalists were in fact buying Apple. Quite funny really.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Holmes

      Nah...

      This is just a temporary pause in hostilities.

      Next week, the use of words like 'Cupertino tat seller' and 'Idiot Tax' will reappear.

      Then we can breathe a sigh of relief as normal service is resumed.

      After all (sic) who around here will admit to buying new stuff from the 'Fruity' company? /s

      I buy used stuff but new? and pay the Idiot Tax? don't be silly.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Quite funny really.

      Must be a barrel of laughs in your house.

      IIRC the rise in sales in China follows a similar dip a year ago. If so, then that is an impressive feat in the face of increased competition in the market. Elsewhere sales do seem to have plateaued though at a high level and with lovely margins.

      Apple deserve credit for breathing new life into the I-Pad market with the pro as it seems that otherwise the tablet market peaked a while back.

      As for the Mac's I notice it's awfully quiet about that awful touchbar…

      1. Dave 126

        Most iPads don't leave the house. As such, factors such as weight and battery life aren't as critical as they might be for a phone. Therefore many people might be content with an older iPad and not feel the need to upgrade.

        1. Wibble

          Most iPads don't leave the house.

          You don't commute or travel then? Brilliant tools for the job. Reading, listening, watching...

        2. ravenviz Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: many people might be content with an older iPad

          iPad 3 still going strong here, it does go slow occasionally but it's tolerable

      2. SuccessCase

        "Must be a barrel of laughs in your house."

        No we are really nerdy and actually quite intelligent. So for example, we laugh at people who take a sample of one joke and use it to imply a generalised conclusion for all jokes. And then we dissect the apparent psychology of someone who would do that, because drawing a false conclusion involves a choice, is done for an effect, unless of course the person who has done it is a bit dim. So the logic shows they are either dim or a bit arse. It's all a bit Sheldon round my way ;)

      3. TVU Silver badge

        "As for the Mac's I notice it's awfully quiet about that awful touchbar…"

        I hope that one of the things to come out of improved Mac sales will be more attention by Cook, Ive and Schiller to the Mac ecosystem in terms of updating system specifications and more attention being paid to productive software for Macs.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The "peak Apple" headlines are just hibernating

      Apple's stock has set new highs this year, as well as today. At some point it will drop due to the market in general dropping, bad news/rumors, or due to Apple failing to meet analyst expectations. If the drop is large enough and over a long enough period of time that the Reg feels safe that a quick rebound is unlikely, you can bet the Peak Apple headlines will be back. Everything peaks eventually, if they keep calling it eventually they'll be right!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not for much longer

    iPhone 8 was a disaster, with only a handful of people queuing up to buy one at launch, and Apple spin telling the world it was because everyone was waiting for the X.

    Now the X turns out to be flawed rushed out dogshite, starts gonna happen???

    1. Dave 126

      Re: Not for much longer

      I wish my disasters netted me $28 billion dollars. It doesn't really matter how much of that haul is accounted for 8, 7, 6 or SE models.

      1. TonyJ

        Re: Not for much longer

        "...I wish my disasters netted me $28 billion dollars. It doesn't really matter how much of that haul is accounted for 8, 7, 6 or SE models..."

        Indeed...or led to a quarter of a trillion dollars in the bank.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Increased Mac sales no doubt due to the fact Apple finally got round to refreshing the line up.

    New a MacBook Pro took its time coming.

    1. Snapper

      New stuff

      Totally agree

      New Mac Pro Tower rather than that useless Spittoon/wastebasket with masses of upgradability and PCI slots. Apple might possibly just save their 'Pro' market, especially if it starts at a fast Adobe Photoshop/InDesign/Illustrator level and can be scaled right up rather than gold-plating everything for 3D 10K Video and making it too expensive.

      New Mac Mini

      New MacBook Air with a few ports.

      1. Dave 126

        Re: New stuff

        Cook has said a modular Mac Pro is coming in 2018. That's all we know.

        He's also hinted at a Mac Mini refresh.

      2. Korev Silver badge

        Re: New stuff

        An iMac with a reasonable size SSD and decent amount of RAM for a sensible amount of money would be great too.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: New stuff

          >An iMac with a reasonable size SSD and decent amount of RAM for a sensible amount of money would be great too.

          ROLFLMAO

          Apple, sensible prices ?

          That will happen the same day hell freezes over.

          1. Dave 126

            Re: New stuff

            Also, if you have some real heavy lifting, you might use a GPU-based render farm, or rent some time on one via the cloud. The point is, there are options.

            There is no natural law that says there are lots of tasks that are too heavy for a laptop but so small as to not benefit from a cabinet full of processors.

            With that, Apple's logic behind the Trash Can Mac Pro was sound (prioritize IO for video) but they misread the direction that GPU development was heading in - the Trash Can doesn't have the thermal design for one very fast GPU, compared to two cards.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: iMac and RAM

          The latest 27in iMacs have user upgradable RAM.

          The 32Gb of Crucial Ram that I have in mine works great.

          PAying the Apple Tax for Ram is a fools game when there is an alternative.

        3. gnasher729 Silver badge

          Re: New stuff

          End of the year you should be able to buy an iMac with 4TB SSD, 128GB RAM, 18 cores. Oh, you asked for a sensible amount of money :-(

      3. Rocketist

        Re: New stuff

        The thing is, pro computers, and Macs in particular it seems, are being used for longer than they used to, at least in most office applications; so users will be prepared to wait a bit.

        Remember those days we couldn't wait for a 68030, or later PowerPC 603, because they'd really speed up our work, and in some cased would open up possibilities never imagined before. Now all but the most power-hungry users can work with a seven-year-old Mac and all the pain they endure is a very occasional waiting time.

        1. YARR
          Big Brother

          Pique Apple over Apple's peak

          Now all but the most power-hungry users can work with a seven-year-old Mac

          that's assuming they last seven years. In my (limited) experince, I've seen disproportionately many faulty / dead Macs that are long outlived by PCs and even older Macs. Perhaps a journalist should commission a hardware survey to find out if Apple have passed their peak hardware reliability? If they have, that may have helped their recent sales.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: New stuff

        The thought of a new mac mini / macbook air is arousing to me

        (mine's the raincoat with the hole in the pocket...)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Appletards, living proof that there's a sucker born every minute.

    1. Craig 2
      Trollface

      AC, living proof that there's an ignorant hater born every minute....

  6. KroSha

    "the Mac had its best-ever full year for revenue"

    Possibly because the prices are at their highest ever and there has been a dearth of new models in recent years?

    Even if the Touchbar is generally useless, lots are buying it, just because they need a new 15" MBP to replace the 2010 model that's died.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: "the Mac had its best-ever full year for revenue"

      I thought people were buying the 2015 models with an escape key and a proper collection of ports. At least that's what I did.

    2. SuccessCase

      Re: "the Mac had its best-ever full year for revenue"

      The Touch Bar isn't useless, it's just that those like me who are already used to and have spent years learning keyboard shortcuts have no pressing need for it. Plus people like me have become users who have stopped looking for optimisations in the same way we once did in our youth. I would be willing to be those new to computing will be using it copiously rather than learning all the keyboard shortcuts.

      Its always the same when something new is introduced. Just look at the furore around the "new" design Final Cut Pro when that was introduced. Yes there were many deficiencies, but just as much criticism was due to stick in the mud stalwarts hating anything new. Now it is considered pretty damned good.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: "the Mac had its best-ever full year for revenue"

        The Touch Bar itself is quite nice.

        Unfortunately they also decided to remove the physical Escape and F keys that 100% of professional applications use, making the machine effectively unusable.

        If those had still been there then the touch bar edition of the Macbook Pro would have sold far, far better.

        As it is, I only know one Mac user who has one - and they regret it. Everyone else is either waiting or got the next one down that's got physical keys.

        Professional applications have a large number of keyboard shortcuts, and Macs were already short of keys.

        Especially in France. The French keyboard layout is...

  7. Starace
    Flame

    What is the point of the cash pile?

    I know they're keeping it offshore for tax reasons but what exactly are they going to do with a quarter of a trillion dollars?

    A big pile of money is not an end in itself; a more creative type at the helm would be doing something constructive with it or maybe just hand a lump out to shareholders as that old fashioned thing called a dividend.

    Icon for another solution to a mountain of dollars.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: What is the point of the cash pile?

      They're already using clever accounting tricks to issue debt for share buybacks. They'll just do more of this when they're allowed to repatriate the cash. Shareholder value and all that jizz.

    2. Dave 126

      Re: What is the point of the cash pile?

      Apple's R&D spending had grown year on year since Jobs' passing, though evidently not enough to make a dent in their cash pile.

      Some of that increased spending will be due to the law if diminishing returns (more effort to make what appear to be minor improvements) inherent in a mature and competitive market. Some of the spending will be on research to determine which projects *not* to persue. Some will have been spent on those automotive engineers that they've been hiring.

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: What is the point of the cash pile?

        Apple's R&D spending had grown year on year since Jobs' passing, though evidently not enough to make a dent in their cash pile.

        Some of that increased spending will be due to the law if diminishing returns (more effort to make what appear to be minor improvements)

        Say what you want about Jobs, he did have imagination and insight into what users wanted, and steered R&D that way.

        Computer sales flat against MS? How about a user friendly MP3 player with access to a music store stocked with popular music? *ker-ching!*

        Mobile phones are a pain, how about about expanding that user friendly player into a full fledged phone that can be as smart as a computer, with a readily accessible app store? *ker-ching!*

        Now that people are used to the UI, do an end run around MS's stranglehold on netbooks by releasing a computer tablet that can use the phone apps? *Ker-ching!*

        As for Cook? Uh, What gimmick can we come up with for iPads and iPhones this year?

        The Mojo's lost.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Apple 'losing its mojo'

          Well you can look at it that way, but consider that Apple wasn't first with any of those. There were existing products in those categories, he just took them from something that sucked and/or appealed to a narrow segment of people and made them appealing to the mass market.

          Not saying that doesn't take talent, but before the iPod, before the iPhone and before the iPad you could have looked at the existing music players, smartphones and tablets and said "wow, these suck, this category is ripe to be re-invented and then it could be mass market!" You could have easily predicted that someone would eventually come along and make those products suck less and be something everyone wants, even if you didn't know specifically how it would be done.

          So take a look around now, what product categories do you see that are destined to have very narrow appeal until someone comes along and makes them not suck? If you can find one, and you could see it fitting in Apple's product line, then maybe your argument that they've lost their mojo without Jobs is correct. The other alternatives though are that Apple is working on it and it isn't ready yet, or that you're wrong that the product category could ever become mainstream.

        2. Dave 126

          Re: What is the point of the cash pile?

          You might be over-simplifying Jobs' role - though of course whatever he did do then did work! He didn't wake up with a vision of the iPhone. He had staff suggesting Apple make a phone. He had two teams working in competition, one being an iPod that made phone calls, the other team picking up old Apple touchscreen GUI R&D that was languishing down an old corridor. Jobs really had to be shown that a scroll-wheel driven interface for phones was bad before throwing all the resources at what would become the iPhone.

    3. Richard Boyce

      Re: What is the point of the cash pile?

      They've been considering making cars. Building the factories would require a lot of money, as Tesla has shown. Another option would be to create or buy a bank.

      There are plenty of ways to further enter the lives of the well-off and status-conscious.

      1. Inspector71
        Devil

        Re: What is the point of the cash pile?

        If it were me, comms would be where I would spend it. They already do the hardware (including chip design), software and have the cloud infrastructure. Next up the pipes that connect it all together, a global ISP/network that would complete the walled garden. Even the bandwidth are belong to them then. You could call it say....AppleTalk.

        1. Rocketist
          Pirate

          Re: What is the point of the cash pile?

          Oh dear, AppleTalk. Almost as good as ApplePie :-)

          Nay, there's two main things you can do with a pile of money: Prevent yourself being bought, or buy someone or something else when the need arises. With the current global economic and political climate, it can't be long before the first sovereign state puts itself up for sale to a corporation. That would make a great offshore base for Apple!

          They could fund the US space program for like 15 years.

          End world hunger (maybe).

          Gold-plate the entire Apple campus and every street in Cupertino, with lots of cash to spare.

          Fix the US public health system. Just kidding.

          Or simply buy BMW, just for the fun of it.

          1. Inspector71
            Happy

            Re: What is the point of the cash pile?

            I'd call it AppleTalk in the hope it would completely erase my memories of the first product called that. (still have the flashbacks)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What is the point of the cash pile?

              They've bought back nearly a quarter of their outstanding shares in the few years, paid a pretty decent dividend, and still their cash pile grows. If tax laws change to where they think it is attractive to bring it home, they would probably ramp up their buybacks and dividends. While you probably want to keep a few tens of billions in your sock drawer for a rainy day, anything beyond that isn't a good idea to keep around as it can only tempt management into buying stuff they don't need (like all the idiot analysts who keep writing articles about how Apple should buy Netflix)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They Must REALLY Hate Wintel

    Cook told investors that the Mac had its best-ever full year for revenue, at $25.8bn and, and enjoyed a ten per cent sales bump by units compared to Q4 2016.

    I have heard rumors that a certain three-lettered corporation that El Reg and readers love to hate have chosen to replace retiring ThinkPad laptops with MacBooks . If true, that would represent quite a boost to Mac sales.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: They Must REALLY Hate Wintel

      IBM is doing that because the support costs are less with the Macbooks.

      Other companies are doing the same as the overall ROCI is lower with the MacBooks even though the initial cost is higher.

      It seems to me that the race to the Office 365/Azure solution is the answer to life etc from Microsoft may well help in this move away from a pure WinTel solution.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: They Must REALLY Hate Wintel

        I don't recognise that at all.

        Macbooks and Windows laptops are equally reliable, and Windows is far, far, far, far easier to administer. There might not be enough "fars" there.

        Manufacturers like Dell have a single standard PSU, and actual "drop in" docks, not octopuses.

        Not to mention that simply plugging anything into a current Mac requires a dongle that will break/get lost.

        Hotel conference rooms have VGA or HDMI - good luck with your business meeting.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They Must REALLY Hate Wintel

      IBM would have what, 100K laptops? If they replaced 1/4th of them each year, that would be 25K in yearly sales. Nothing to sneeze at, but hardly going to move the needle when Apple is selling around 15 million a year.

      Now if a lot of companies looked at what IBM is doing and decided to follow in their footsteps it would have a material impact, but it is far more likely to be a trickle than a flood. And even a flood would be a drop in the bucket compared to Apple's yearly corporate sales of iOS devices.

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