back to article Apple laughing all the way to the bank – with profits of $5.3m per hour

Apple continues to display all the characteristics of a money-making machine, with record results for the third quarter of the year. This was the iGiant's strongest fiscal third-quarter results in its history, according to Apple, and its fourth straight quarter of double-digit revenue growth. In a conference call with analysts …

  1. Mayday
    Gimp

    Mac sales declined nine per cent over the quarter

    Make a decent one, and I'll go buy one!

    *Desperately wants a new Mac Mini but it's beyond the waiting and caring phase now.

    1. 45RPM

      Re: Mac sales declined nine per cent over the quarter

      Exactly. I don’t think it’s that no one wants the Mac anymore, but with nothing up to date in the low end (Mac Mini, MacBook Air) or the expandable high end (Mac Pro), everyone who wants to buy a Mac is either holding their breath or getting a Hackintosh.

      I think that, once Apple extracts its opposable digit from its fundamental orifice and delivers new hardware, sales of the Mac will recover considerably.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Mac sales declined nine per cent over the quarter

        There is some breath-holding as you say; a new "modular Mac Pro" Cook teased for 2018 has been pushed back to 2019, and at the other end he's hinted at a new Mac Mini at some point.

      2. Divyas

        Re: Mac sales declined nine per cent over the quarter

        It is the beauty of the design and the simplicity of the machine that makes it sell and it will grow sooner or later.

    2. N2 Silver badge

      Re: Mac sales declined nine per cent over the quarter

      Agreed.

      That silly tube like MacPro thing

      Batteries that cannot easily be replaced

      Anything else that easily cannot be replaced

      shit keyboards that don't last

      fixing stupid problems that dont need fixing in the vain cause of 'innovation'

      To name a few

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

        Re: Mac sales declined nine per cent over the quarter

        Partially disagree. Thats your personal preference but not all of that needs to be fixed to recover sales.

        Fixed batteries have been a MacBook staple for years with little discernible impact on sales.

        Stick in an upgradable SSD and Memory even if it makes it 1-2mm thicker.

        Produce equivalent top end MacBooks without the silly and expensive Touch Bar.

        Refresh MacBook (non-pro) with a few more ports so its a good Air successor - make sure there is a <$1000 model.

        Any one of those would stimulate MacBook demand.

        The mid 2018 refreshes did a lot to improve things. In particular the 13" is a pocket rocket now its got 4 cores - 8 virtual as the i5 and i7 both have hyper threading.

        1. paulf
          Headmaster

          Re: Mac sales declined nine per cent over the quarter

          @ Gordon 10, "Fixed batteries have been a MacBook staple for years with little discernible impact on sales."

          You're right but it's the degree to which things have been fixed inside that has most definitely changed.

          My old Mid-2010 17" MBP can have it's battery swapped at home - unscrew the back, unplug old battery, plug in new battery and screw the back in to place again. It's not something you can do on a regular basis but it is a world away from the latest MBPs with their batteries glued in place inside and near enough impossible for someone to replace at home.

    3. MrNed

      Re: Mac sales declined nine per cent over the quarter

      "Make a decent one, and I'll go buy one!"

      Absolutely! The dual-core-only-ness of the Mac Mini line is crazy (IMO it's to stop people buying a mac mini and pairing it with the monitor(s) of their choice, rather than forking out for a large, bulky iMac whose lovely monitor will boost Apple's profits, not to mention easily outlast the computer itself).

      I'd also add another requirement: Something that's a bit more sensibly priced - I mean, over £4k for an iMac Pro, and at least £3k for a stupid dusty-bin thing?! I may be one of the mugs who'll fork out extra for Apple stuff, but not that much extra!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think the only risk or downside for apple is that they are losing in education.

    "today's young, innocent faces will be tomorrow's clientele." Tom Lehrer

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple: You WILL like our designs.

    You WILL like our soldered SSDs.

    You WILL like our butterfly keyboard.

    You WILL like the Touchbar.

    You WILL like Face-ID.

    You WILL like the Notch Design.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Apple: You WILL like our designs.

      Any data you keep in one place is data you don't care about; if it's only on your encrypted SSD then you've somehow not backed it up to an external drive via USB, Thunderbolt, network or cloud storage.

      1. cb7 Bronze badge

        Re: Apple: You WILL like our designs.

        I think the point is, if you decide two years hence, you need more storage in your precious little MacBook, you can't have it. You can't just unsolder the old SSD and solder in a bigger one. You have to sell your entire machine and buy one with more storage space. And pay Apple's inflated prices for the privilege.

        Ditto the RAM.

        1. gnasher729 Silver badge

          Re: Apple: You WILL like our designs.

          The same upgrade path is there that was there for many years: You put your computer on eBay, sell it for tons of money (because Macs hold their value much better than PCs) and buy a new one. Which in two years time will be better in any respect.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Apple: You WILL like our designs.

            So somebody who has used computers for years suddenly realises that they need more on-board storage on their laptop than they thought they would when they bought it? Okay, that might happen on rare occasions, I guess...

            1. jeffty

              Re: Apple: You WILL like our designs.

              I can think of a couple of reasons for swapping out a laptop drive, and not all of them have to do with needing more onboard storage. Drive failure for one.

              Another being that the easiest way to give a creaking laptop a new lease of life is to increase the RAM and throw in an SSD in place of the original drive. I've lost count of the number of colleagues I've seen do this, but usually with an older i5/i7 laptop rather than an Argos £300 core-duo special.

              Want to do either with a new Macbook Pro? Forget it.

        2. jeffty

          Re: Apple: You WILL like our designs.

          This.

          My Macbook Pro 2012 is still going strong, with a RAM upgrade to 16Gb from 4Gb, an SSD swapout, and the optical drive swapped for a second HDD. When it eventually gives up I'd buy another Macbook Pro in a heartbeat if it wasn't a soldered/glued together mess of non-user-servicable parts.

          There's no reason why RAM and SSDs have to be soldered to the mainboard either, every other manufacturer gets by without having to do so.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So more cook-ups than good jobs?

  4. Aynon Yuser

    I miss my old ipod shuffle. What an amazing product so perfect for the gym. I feel nostalgic. Sigh.

    1. 45RPM

      Surely the functionality of the Shuffle, for exercise at any rate - which was its primary use-case, has been subsumed into the Watch? If you’re into exercise, and you’ve bought into the Apple ecosystem, then you probably have a Watch - regardless that it’s an order of magnitude more costly than the old shuffle - and you’ll be using that to play your exercise tunes instead.

  5. cb7 Bronze badge

    Tax

    I wonder how much tax Apple pay on all this wonga? By country

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tax

      I guess a lot of the profit increase is also due to the lower taxes it now pays in US as well. We know how much of it goes to shareholders, but how much to workers?

      1. Jamtea

        Re: Tax

        Believe it or not, workers are paid through salaries and wages which are actually pre-profit expenses to the company. Beyond that they don't get a slice of the profits... which are paid through dividends. Do people not know how companies work?

        1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

          Re: Tax

          Not entirely correct. There are bonus and share schemes that whilst pre-tax will be based in part on Gross profits.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Tax

          In some more advanced countries, those some USain like Trump hate a lot, countries with little debt and even a surplus, there are provision to share some of the profits with workers too, and not shareholders only.

          Yes, they are bonuses, but are not left to the grace of the CEO. They are contractual, and based on measurable parameters.

          How US companies work is clear - it may not be the best way in the long run, especially not there's a trend to crush workers' rights.

          Wages stagnation in the US is a problem, and it will become bigger and bigger. It also explain why US imports so much cheap stuff from China and the like, and why it burdens of debits people as soon as they enter university.

          It can work for a while, then the bubble explodes (remember subprimes...) and the economy falls. A working economy require customers - if you can't create and sustain customers, it can't.

          1. Bavaria Blu

            Re: Tax

            I think unequal societies are more sustainable than you think. It is after all the rich and successful who benefit. They are able to lobby and plead a special exception to every rule. "If you tax us too much we'll live elsehwhere" and the Govt will believe it. Especially in the US even to be a candidate you have to be a multi-millionaire or billionair. It is unclear to me why they would even be aware of the falling real value of wages as they are unlikely to know what "work" is in the tradional sense, they are more rentiers or pure capitalists. Whilst capitalism needs consumers to consume and therefore have wages to do so, I do not see why they have to be sold good quality products, and they can buy them on credit too. The average American is also not as well educated as a typical European in a high tax high public service society.

  6. trevorde

    TL;DR

    Summary for those with short attention spans:

    * sold more, expensive iPhone X's

    * sold less of all other hardware

    * sold lots of services

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: TL;DR

      Actually, the I-Phone X stuff is spin: sales growth but from a low base.

      My anecdotal street survey does suggest that they are selling more ear brushes™ but I've not seen many Apple Galaxy X's in the wild. YMMV.

      The push into music seems to be, ahem, paying dividends and should help Apple launch its video streaming service but they may face a decision at some point as to whether the services must be tied to Apple devices.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: TL;DR

        My anecdotal street survey does suggest that they are selling more ear brushes™ but I've not seen many Apple Galaxy X's in the wild. YMMV.

        Same here, other than at the locations where you'd expect the sort of wealthy customer who will always upgrade to the "best" product in Apple's range - seen quite a few X's at the few posh functions I've been to.

        Can't speak for other EU nations, but I'd certainly expect US X sales to be notably stronger than the UK, since (even after the sales tax adjustment) the X starts off with a 12% price premium in the UK, and household disposable income in the UK is around 10% lower than the US.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: TL;DR

          wrong , apparently they sold more "airpods" as well .

          I have no idea what that is. Is it like an air guitar?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: TL;DR

            apparently they sold more "airpods" as well . I have no idea what that is. Is it like an air guitar?

            Sounds more like a pair of trousers with a hole below the front zipper, enabling discerning gentlemen to let 'em dangle in the cooling breeze.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I like the stock photo of a generic #yougogirl juggling Apples. Clever. I'd never have thought of that.

  8. ColonelClaw

    Slightly off-topic, but...

    "demand for flexible OLED screens was weak"

    I actually can't think of too many practical applications for a flexible OLED at all. Something medical maybe? Or fashion-related?

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Flexible OLEDs would mean being able to have devices without glass: rollable, foldable screens, etc. But it seems hard to do this at the right price™

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Lots of problems to overcome before we get folding / rolling phones

        Screens without glass means screens where scratches are a problem. No thanks, I was glad to leave behind the old days of phones with plastic screens that would magically acquire scratches from being in my pocket despite never putting anything else in the pocket with it. I guess pocket lint contains a little bit of fine silica or something else that scratches plastic.

        It was annoying back when there was hardly ever any reason to look at a phone screen, now that we look at phone screens for hours a day there's no way I'd tolerate a screen that's not at least as resistant to scratching as glass.

        Everyone likes the idea of folding phones or phones with rollable screens. Reality bites, though - folding phones will need to be square when folded, or be a trifold, to get a decent aspect ratio when unfolded. Phones with rollable screens will need some sort of frame that unrolls with them to keep them perfectly flat, because who wants to look at a display that's wavy or otherwise non-flat.

        Between those issues, the aforementioned scratching, weight (for the backing for folding or frame for rolling) bulk since they'll probably be larger when folded/rolled, battery life (more display = more power draw) and likely durability problems with the first gen (at least) after repeated folding/rolling multiple times a day over a year or two I think when released they will get a lot of hype, but won't prove to be very popular. Especially if they cost significantly more than current flagships, which seems likely. The issues will be worked out eventually, but not for years after they first appear.

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