SAN FRANCISCO – Since Apple introduced iPhone 11 years ago, smartphones have become ubiquitous and the market for them is saturated. To maintain growth, Apple has employed a sharp strategy: Let more pay for the devices.
Journalists and analysts have explained how Apple does it by sharing the number of iPhones sold in a given quarter in the revenue Apple earns from them to calculate the average selling price.
It will not be that easy anymore.
Apple said Thursday that it sold about as many iPhones in the last quarter as it did a year earlier, but iPhone sales increased 29 percent. That was because customers paid almost 29 percent more for the devices. (The average selling price is now $ 793.)
But after the numbers were reported, Luca Maestri, Apple's chief executive, said at a conference that the company would no longer state how many iPhones, iPads or Macs it sold. As a result, journalists and analysts will no longer be able to track how Apple's swell price improves earnings.
Timothy D. Cook, Apple's CEO, explained the reason by analogy: "If you go to the market and you tap your shopping cart for cash – and she says or says," How many units do you have in there? "- It does not matter how many units there are in terms of the total value of what's in the cart. "
Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst at Bernstein, said that Apple was trying to shift investors attention away from the number of units it sold. "The companies always try to put their best foot forward," he said. "Your best foot does not seem to be the iPhone device's growth."
Another wildly profitable quarter for Apple showed that the business has largely avoided the turmoil that has shredded its Silicon Valley colleagues. Facebook, Google and Twitter have faced questions about their influence in spreading disinformation and spreading hate speech.
Apple has tried to distinguish itself from other tech giants by trumpeting it appreciates its customers' privacy and hires people to cure its services rather than relying on computer algorithms. The company reacted to criticism about the infectious nature of its smartphones by adding tools for people to track their time spent on them.
Last month, Apple launched its most expensive iPhone ever, XS Max, starting at $ 1,100. On Tuesday, the starting price of iPad Pro increased to $ 800 from $ 650 and MacBook Air to $ 1200 from $ 1000, while the devices became faster and more powerful.
Apple's strategy has been working for more than iPhones. Apple said it sold 5.3 million Macs in the quarter, down 2 percent from a year ago, but revenues from Mac sales increased by 3 percent to a record of 7.4 billion dollars. It was because customers paid almost $ 1,400 on average for a Mac, up 5 percent from the previous year.
Apple's total revenue increased almost 20 percent in the quarter to $ 62.9 billion.
Apple's second venture to sustain growth is its services business, which includes its cuts of app sales and revenue from its own apps, such as Apple Music. Service revenues increased by 17 percent to almost 10 billion dollars in the quarter.
Some analysts were keen on Apple's prospects in China, where sales fell sharply several years ago. However, revenue for the quarter increased by 16 per cent from the previous year.
Apple's stock price dropped more than 6 percent in the post-mortem trade on Thursday, probably due to plans to stop reporting unit sales and because revenue guidance for the current quarter was "lighter than expectations," Sacconaghi said.