back to article WTF? Apple iPhones shrank by more than $22bn in fiscal '19

Apple has always been able to conjure magic of sorts – be it hardware, software or services based – that captures the imagination and the wallets of its loyal users. But in fiscal '19, Apple performed an altogether different kind of act, a vanishing one: it managed to make $5bn of sales revenue disappear. This was always going …

  1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    The miracle of cheap debt

    Elsewhere in Services, Cook also confirmed Apple Card customers will be able to use it to purchase a new iPhone and "pay for it over 24 months with zero interest". They'll also get 3 per cent cash back on that phone purchase and pay no fees.

    So, a differential price cut that the accounts can be offset against profits, ie. the taxpayer contributes. Nice.

    1. fandom

      Re: The miracle of cheap debt

      If you get the card, Apple will get a cut of every purchase you make with it.

      So, to help with convincing you to do it, they are willing to make a little less profit on the sell of an iPhone.

      What a scandal! I am shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: The miracle of cheap debt

        "the sell of an iPhone."

        the SALE of an iPhone. FTFY

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The miracle of cheap debt

          I suspect English may not be their first language. And I know I make much worse mistakes posting in other languages, so I'm not about to complain.

          1. Hans 1

            Re: The miracle of cheap debt

            How's commentard gonna learn if we do not offer corrections ?

            It is OK to make mistakes, they are merely lessons to be learned.

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: The miracle of cheap debt

        Enough people are lured in by the interest-free period that don't pay off the purchase in time that the cards make money. Mostly, if you don't pay off the purchase in time, you owe all of the back interest at the usual ruinous rates that these sorts of cards have.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The miracle of cheap debt

      The taxpayer isn't contributing. Apple has well over $100 billion in "cash", which they keep in short term investments like t-bills that are only paying 1% or so in this low interest rate environment. They are self-financing this, and forgoing that small amount of interest they'd otherwise be collecting is worth it if it helps make a sale they wouldn't have made until next year, or helps someone buy a more expensive model than they otherwise would have.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: The miracle of cheap debt

        Just like they're self-financing the share buy backs?

  2. Chris G Silver badge

    Apple iphones shrunk

    They must be washing it wrong.

    1. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

      Re: Apple iphones shrunk

      >"They must be washing it wrong."

      The money or the products?

  3. andy 103
    Thumb Down

    They don't value their own products

    Loyal iPhone user. Bought an XR SIM free a few months back. £745 in an Apple store on a 24 month 0% finance deal**

    When the 11 was launched I received an email offering me a trade in. Value? £245

    Sorry but if you can wipe £500 off one of *your own products* after 3 months then it's a no from me.

    Never again.

    ** Said deal is no longer available, it's now about 14% APR if you did want an iPhone 11 or some other hardware. That'll help sales :/

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: They don't value their own products

      Isn't the XR the one they can't give away? I seem to remember sales for the X and 8 being significantly higher.

      Anyway, Apple doesn't really care now about now it's managed to convince people to buy products with even higher margins: audio toothbrushes.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They don't value their own products

        I thought they were minimalist earrings for people who don't want their ears pierced.

    2. N2

      Re: They don't value their own products

      ...or customers.

      1. tin 2

        Re: They don't value their own products

        Indeed. Not any more, at least, and it baffles me as to why that would *ever* be a strategy, particularly for Apple. All they need is a decent %age of Apple fanbois to go right off them, and they're properly finished as a company. I figure with the even more extortionate pricing and the dramatic drop in software quality across the board, that decent %age is being realised.

        1. N2

          Re: They don't value their own products


          Linux or a Hackintosh perhaps next update, their prices are beyond comprehension.

          Until then my S/H 09 Mac Pro marches on...

  4. rHiggs

    Long Life Products

    Turning off animations increased my 2015 MacBook lifespan for another 2 years.

    Would get a new Macbook if they put the old keyboards back and offered 0% to small businesses.

    1. 404

      Re: Long Life Products

      Typing this on a 2013 Panasonic CF-53 Toughbook - and I run everything, even in Windows 10 lol, doesn't stress it out.

      You get what you pay for.

    2. Gudieve Ning

      Re: Long Life Products

      What do you mean by Turning off animations?

      I have a 2019 i9 MacBook Pro btw.

  5. macjules
    Black Helicopters

    Is that really Tim Cook?

    That photo looks suspiciously like some VR AI-induced image rather than that of Mr Fruity. I think that they are using pictures of Paul O'Grady and not admitting that there is no such a thing as an Apple CEO.

  6. Imhotep

    The Thrill Is Gone

    Absent Messrs Ive and Jobs, Apple seems unable to bring a compelling new product to market.

    I recently had to trade in my old IPhone 4 for a X, and I don't see that I really gained anything thereby.

    Looks like the current leadership is doing what MBAs do, and that doesn't really include innovation.

    1. Philippe
      Thumb Down

      Re: The Thrill Is Gone

      Who on Earth was still using an iPhone 4 (a 10 years old phone) in 2019, and then exchange it for an iPhone X (a 2 years old phone)?

      Troll harder.

      1. FozzyBear
        Black Helicopters

        Re: The Thrill Is Gone

        Still using a Samsung S3, with a spare battery.

        Considering the data slurping, the inability to turn off any of the telemetry settings, turning your phone and you into a walking Marketing database managers wet dream. On all the modern phones and version of iOS and Andriod.

        You can get my phone when you can pry it from my cold dead hands

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The Thrill Is Gone

          My S3 developed a bad charging port just out of warranty just after a Samsung TV fritzed its motherboard again just out of makers warranty (thank god for extended warranty) Samsungs answer to my raising this as a durability issue was that I was charging it too often.

          Modern companies in general seem oblivious to the consequences of p*ss(ng off your customer base - as evidenced bt a total lack of Samsung products in my home now

        2. jgarbo

          Re: The Thrill Is Gone

          Both hands? Holding it wrong...

        3. Wade Burchette

          Re: The Thrill Is Gone

          Blokada solves all your Android tracking problems. <a href="></a>

      2. Sandtitz Silver badge

        Re: The Thrill Is Gone

        "Who on Earth was still using an iPhone 4 (a 10 years old phone) in 2019, and then exchange it for an iPhone X (a 2 years old phone)?"

        A budget conscientious person perhaps? The retailers still have brand new iPhone 7 models available for those who prefer iPhones but can't be arsed to fork a kilobuck for it. I'm sure X is (or was fairly recently) available, and is probably a nice phone.

        As for iPhone 4 usage - Imhotep wrote about lack of innovation between 4 and X and therefore probably does not find use in the upgraded camera, lightning port, wireless charging, the missing headphone jack and other "innovations" (=natural advances in tech). Therefore some chap using iPhone 4 as a cell phone and maybe as an email client - why not?

        1. Imhotep

          Re: The Thrill Is Gone

          You've pretty much nailed it. It's main use was as a phone for business calls to avoid long distance charges, and for checking email remotely. And I still prefer the size of the old 4.

          I find a lot of engineers have the same attitude: use what meets the criteria for performing the job, so not the best candidates for prestige/status items in the car, watch or clothing fields either. But I will spend for a good retaurant and meal.

          1. BigSLitleP

            Re: The Thrill Is Gone

            Seconded. Got given an SE as a work phone, kept it when i left. Still use it. Everything on it works and it has an audio jack. Why would i swap it for something that (for me) is less capable for more money?

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: The Thrill Is Gone

              I agree. I use an 8 which I picked up very cheap, my next phone will probably be whatever replaces the current 11 pro in 2020 but it will be 2 or 3 years old when I get it, so 2022 or 3.

              Unless a credible alternative option comes to market before then.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The Thrill Is Gone

              Same - got an SE with work - really liked that so got one for one of the children. Nice and solid and decent size.

      3. paulf

        Re: The Thrill Is Gone

        I'm still using my old iPhone 4S for my other number*. It runs iOS 7.1.2. fine, so isn't hobbled by the mess that was iOS 8, and is still in decent condition despite the occasional drop (from my PoV the 4S was the high water mark in iPhone build quality). It only uses WiFi, because it's on a super cheap plan with no data, and that's normally turned off. Frankly the only reason I'd replace it is the miserable battery life but it's good enough for my purposes, and in fairness it is 8 years old and on its original battery.

        * The "burner" number that is given to companies who insist on having my phone number to plaster across the address label of my deliveries then spam me with texts. They don't get my main number.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The Thrill Is Gone

          It only uses WiFi, because it's on a super cheap plan with no data, and that's normally turned off.

          Concur. Just got given an 'old' smartphone, to learn how they work. After 3 months went back to 2G 'feature phone', use smartphone with WiFi as spare email 'adjunct' to laptop. Posting anonymously to avoid problems with giver of phone.

      4. BigSLitleP

        Re: The Thrill Is Gone

        Still using my SE. Would definitely not trade it in for a newer model. Not trolling, newer iPhones are expensive and don't give any real performance boost.

      5. macjules

        Re: The Thrill Is Gone

        News International (Times/Sun/Sky/Fox etc) still issue their staff with a white iPhone 5c. WPP (most of the planet’s ad agencies) issue their staff with the iPhone SE. Yet to come across a fanboi working at either who starts screaming how he cannot use such dated technology.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The Thrill Is Gone

 long would anybody at NI last if they complained about anything? It's not exactly evidence of anything. I'm sure we've all come across companies run by members of A afarensis who demand the staff use obsolete kit to help finance their world domination/private jet/helicopter habits.

    2. Thought About IT

      Re: The Thrill Is Gone

      My Nokia Lumia 925 Windows phone is still giving sterling service for phone calls, texting and GPS, but I know I'll have to replace it eventually. The problem is, while Android phones are cheaper than iPhones, the hidden cost is the data they slurp, so I'll probably end up with the latter. I just hope Apple realise they are pricing themselves out of business before I need to do that.

  7. ClosedJar

    Yup..not apple crazy here.

    The last thing I got from apple was an Ipad Air 2. For phones was Iphone 4, now turned into and Ipod. My current phone is LG stylo 4. Paid 99.00 dollar for it and never looked back. I call, text, take picture and write tons with my included stylus. I don't need anything else. People tend to buy things even if they charge it and don't have the money, just to look good. I got the money but the only person that I need to please is me. As long as it does everything that I need I'm happy. : )

    1. Gudieve Ning
      Thumb Up

      Re: Yup..not apple crazy here.

      Note 9 user here. I need to check out the stylo and save myself some walla next time!

  8. herman Silver badge

    Hmm, I find my Apple devices to be pretty and hassle free.

    1. DiViDeD

      Re: I find my Apple devices to be pretty and hassle free

      Couldn't agree more (except for the pretty bit - one featureless glass oblong looks very much like any other featureless glass oblong to my mind). But hassle free? Definitely.

      Work gave me an iPhone7 a couple of months back and it's no trouble at all - just sits in the jacket pocket, gets taken out every so often for charging and, well, that's it really. Never actually used it, but you can't have everything.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    crazy prices

    Years ago, when Jobs was still here, prices were high, more or less double of the competition, but there was some added value for this vs. the competition.

    You basically were paying for this added value.

    Now, be it Iphones or Macs, the prices are so insane vs. what you get, that the apple kit can only be classified as luxury items. You pay 1200 E for an iphone, just to show everyone how much you can send through the window. I have one colleague who purchased an X the day it was out and this was exactly how it went for him.

    So long as Cook doesn't understand he's left his former market (personnal tech) to move into luxury, the sales will plunge. How do you buy a new iphone, today, with a salary in China or India ? Even in western Europe ?

    1. DiViDeD

      Re: crazy prices

      apple kit can only be classified as luxury items

      I think the word you're looking for is veblen

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The bright side?

    My wife just dropped her iphone 7 plus, and cracked the screen. I have done several different phone screens, but this was BY FAR the easiest screen change I have ever performed. It was EASY. 30 minutes and $50 later, the screen is good as new.

  11. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    And this is before

    The USA puts a tarrif on imported iPhones

    Before China retaliates or 'suggests' to people that using an iPhone is unpatriotic

    Or the EU start to look at store monopolies.

  12. fishman

    Cheaper can be better

    My son has owned iPhones and Galaxy phones. He's come to the conclusion that for him a cheap phone is best. He doesn't have to worry about losing it, dropping it, or having any other problems with it.

  13. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Nothing new

    I use my mobile as a phone. Occasionally, I use it to listen to music or turn on the data to look something up. A bog standard phone is completely fine for me. I don't see any advantage to purchasing a £1,000 phone. That's money that can't go for a new laptop or desktop (food, new camera, mortgage payment, holiday, etc). I haven't seen anything on the newest phones that gives me any more value. My old phones are repurposed for all sorts of other duties that I don't want tying up my SIM'd phone or having my main phone low on power when I really need it to make or receive a call. (Can't stand text and had the phone co shut it off).

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