back to article Wow. Apple's only gone and killed off Mac, iPad, iPhone family... figures for units sold to fans

Cupertino tastemaker Apple Inc has logged yet another record quarter, though investors are worried that sales may be starting to slow. The renowned creator of the Pippin on Thursday delivered both its fourth quarter and full-year numbers for its fiscal 2018. For the Q4 FY 2018 period, ending September 29: Revenues of $62. …

  1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    I would've bought an iPhone

    But after fighting with the DRM charger cables ($40 for one work-around), the missing headphone socket was a step too far.

    Switched to Android, which turned out to be trivially easy.

    A colleague mentioned that the latest iPad has a USB C charging port and a headphone socket. Thus, there's a remote possibility that I might even buy one someday.

    1. 0laf Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: I would've bought an iPhone

      I had an SE thought it was expensive but appreciated the fact that it just worked with everything but I found the screen keyboard too small for my sausage fingers.

      I would have preferred to stick with Apple for the 'it just works' element but the premium on new Apple device is just too high. I picked up a P20 Pro for just over £500, a near equivalent iPhone would be £1k now.

      I'm not brand loyal, most of my acounts are still MS from my Winpho days and even with the worry about Google sniffing, the Chinese sniffing and every app sniffing it was still too much to stick with Apple. I don't trust any phone really so don't shop or bank on them anyway.

    2. deadlockvictim Silver badge

      Re: I would've bought an iPhone

      JeffyPoooh» Switched to Android, which turned out to be trivially easy.

      So now I'm Google's bitch instead...

  2. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Revenue up, units down

    Just keep raising prices and removing features. There's nothing unsustainable about that.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Revenue up, units down

      Cook is a beancounter. Removing features, making things harder to fix and upgrade, selling fewer units, and raising prices on those units are what he's all about.

    2. pavel.petrman

      Re: Revenue up, units down

      My thoughts exactly - perhaps the pinnacle of appleness, as opposed to the unwashed-mass-iveness of the competitor, is Sir Ive handcrafting one unit per year which would then be sold to a sheikh or an oligarch for hundreds of billions.

    3. EJ

      Re: Revenue up, units down

      Just keep raising prices and removing features. There's nothing unsustainable about that.

      What? That's mad. The obvious solution is to convince consumers they need 6 of everything.

    4. Tikimon Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Revenue up, units down

      ""...a unit of sale is less relevant for us at this point compared to the past."

      So in plain language, Apple is all about The Bottom Line, the end to which all means are directed, and the primary measure of the company's success. Hard to reconcile that with their holier-than-the-competition PR...

  3. djstardust Silver badge

    Sustainable

    Let's take a look at Nokia. The wheels fell off their bus in a very short period of time when they stopped innovating, their products became expensive and were no longer 'trendy'

    The only difference with Apple is the huge pile of cash behind them, but that could get swallowed up quickly enough.

    They've been taking the piss for a while now with a stale OS, lack of ports, enforcing the walled garden and ever increasing prices (especially for storage). This can't go on forever.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sustainable

      Not quite, Nokia never really had a 'halo' effect as a brand. They were well known and held in quite high esteem for functionality, but the brand wasn't really 'unconditionally loved'.

      The Halo effect of Apple means that they don't have to try quite as hard, I've seen plenty of people move over to Android for sure but they are less fixated with a particular brand then - although Samsung has some following.

      It's quite psychological - a bit like following a sports team when your loyalty is what makes the product great. Apple still has that and it is unlikely they will ever be continuously at the forefront in the smartphone race any more.

      When the halo drops for a significant proportion of their buyers then Apple may be in trouble.

      1. Jedipadawan

        Re: Sustainable

        I run my own small business in SE Asia and my clientle are ALL ethnic Chinee.

        Up until now they all bought Apple because of 'Face.'

        The concept of 'Face' is hard to explain exactly but it can be pretty much replaced by 'status' - at least in the business centre where I now live - and my clients have HAD to buy Apple, just for the logo est the lose face and, in the process, business!

        But no more. Apple has lost its shine even here. Especially for smartphones.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sustainable

      >Let's take a look at Nokia.

      Bought a Nokia 8 for £260 (John Lewis) extremely good value at that price.

      1. djstardust Silver badge

        Re: Sustainable

        That's not a Nokia. It's HMD Global just using the name.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sustainable

          >That's not a Nokia. It's HMD Global just using the name.

          It's largely run by former Nokia execs, uses lots of Nokia ex-staff and is located in Finland. The manufacturing is contracted out Foxconn but who doesn't have their phones made in the far east these days. If it wasn't for MS screwing them up they'd have probably morphed into HMD a lot faster using android.

          In short, it's close enough to being Nokia and the Nokia 8 for the discount price is good value plus the bootloader can now be unlocked. I've not tried a custom ROM on it yet but I'll probably go that way in a year or two.

    3. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: Sustainable

      I don't know about that rose-tinted view; I had a Nokia 6600 in 2003, which other than the better form factor was almost indistinguishable from the Nokia 7650 of 2001, or the N70 of 2005. They stopped innovating a long time before the wheels fell off. The issue is whether anybody else comes along to mount a challenge — Nokia was fine until Apple and Google arrived.

      Applying the same test of "essentially the same UI and features", I don't think either Apple or Google has done all that much in at least the last five years. But neither has anybody else.

    4. darklord

      The day Nokia died

      The day Nokia died was when they stopped selling the mighty 6310i

      After that it was down hill all the way

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Keep throttling those phones Apple, I love watching an iTard cry.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The throttling is not as important as "the new shiny"..

      Even if IPhones ran like shit, the IFans would still buy them ...

      1. gnasher729 Silver badge

        So what are they going to do when the latest iPhone runs at twice the speed of the latest Samsung phones...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "So what are they going to do when the latest iPhone runs at twice the speed of the latest Samsung phones..."

          Bah, nothing because "Shiny" isn't about speed and the non multi-tache interface doesn't allow for the speed to be usefull.

          If you look at the latest publicity, it is all about how good it looks, they dont even bother to show the OS..

      2. darklord

        ah butisnt that the ppoint

        They don't run like shit and need rebooting everyday to avoid the dreaded android slow down and lag and twitchy apps.

        I am just happy to have a phone that wont disintegrate 1 day past the warranty expired and the battery died and the memory cards keep corrupting losing data and phots. a trait ive experienced with android ive ever owned.

        never had that problem with my iphones. Iuse both one is my business phone and one is my personal.

        The reliable one is my phone. Ill take reliability thanks.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ah butisnt that the ppoint

          You must have had some crappy products then because I have been running both for the last 6 years ( I only have the Iphone because it's work supplied).

          I have no idea what problems you are talking about with Android as I have not suffered any of what you have mentioned. I'll put it down to somethinmg you do with your phones.

          I can yee you Iphone doesn't like spellchecking which .. Know that you mention it, have you ever tried putting the cursor in the middle of a word with an Iphone, what a PITA...not very practical when you can't edit without having to erase entire words...

          1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

            Re: ah butisnt that the ppoint

            Perhaps his experience is with LG. Or some off-brand.

            I have several Galaxy S4s that are starting to show their age. And an S3 that's actually in really good condition. The S4s have taken a lot of abuse, at least two have cracked screens. All could use new batteries, but hey, at least I can change the batteries. And they all work, cracked screens notwithstanding.

            My current phone is an HTC-built Pixel XL. Too early to talk about long term ruggedness.

            Not all Android devices are the same.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    long lived phones

    Numbers may be down as the market is saturated, a lot of iPhone users now are not huge apple fans and don't align themselves with the latest products, we just want a phone that works and is supported with patches and software updates for the life of the phone.

    I don't have a bleeding edge iPhone having moved across to an iPhone 7 last year but I do intend to keep it for 4 years. The next phone upgrade will be when my wife replaces her iPhone 6 in a years time, she will have had it for 4 by then.

    I've done Android and am heartily sick of the lack of updates, I did root a phone and installed a custom rom so I could keep a maintained OS but that meant several apps I wanted to use would not work. I seemed to have to fix issues with google services every few months. I even resorted to windows mobile for 18 months with a nice lumia handset. The key issue there were lack of apps and difficulties getting it repaired after a broken screen.. I ended up having to get it repaired via my insurance company and it came back with the wrong build on it and of course I had to resolve that. In the end having watched the rest of the family just use their phones rather than spending time regularly rebuilding them I just gave up and moved to an iphone.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: long lived phones

      I have to agree. I dropped my android phone one too many times this week so an upgrade is in order. Strongly tempted to move back to the Apple fold after I left when my 5 got too old. They are damn expensive for what they are but Im coming round to calling it the support tax. If I get regular updates for the next 3 years thats worth paying for imo.

      Still - it hurts though...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: long lived phones

        >If I get regular updates for the next 3 years thats worth paying for imo.

        Android one is two years of OS, 3 years of security.

        A fraction of the price.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: long lived phones

      I had an Android phone. It was replaced by an iPhone because the Android phone kept on freezing. The user forums for that device were filed with people complaining, but nothing was ever done. I never got a single upgrade of any kind for the system software. The vendor just shoved it out the door and abandoned it. The iPhone 5s works. It has worked for over four years now. It is still supported by Apple. Mine will be replaced by another iPhone, probably an iPhone 8, around December or January, by which point it will be five years old and I know that I can sell it and get a between $50-80 for it to be used towards buying the replacement.

      I will never buy an Android device again. If this makes me a fanboi, so be it, and it's Samsung's fault, they made the Android phone which so thoroughly annoyed me.

      1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: long lived phones

        "I had an Android phone. It was replaced by an iPhone because the Android phone kept on freezing. The user forums for that device were filed with people complaining, but nothing was ever done."

        And on the basis of one bad experience you'll never buy Android again. You're absolutely entitled to your viewpoint, your comments about support may be entirely accurate, but Samsung isn't the only manufacturer, there are plenty of others. You may not be a "fanboi" but your purchasing decisions are not based on logic (see last sentence).

        I think sometimes we should ignore our STEM mentality from time to time and spare a kind thought for marketing people. We often think that they are crazy but, let's face it, they have to account for the prejudices of customers.

        1. ThomH Silver badge

          Re: long lived phones @ Voyna i Mor

          The story appears more to be:

          Poster had bad experience with phone manufacturer A. Decided to try manufacturer B. Had very good experience with manufacturer B. Decided to stick with them for the next purchase.

          You don't think that's logical?

          1. Gene Cash Silver badge

            Re: long lived phones @ Voyna i Mor

            > You don't think that's logical?

            Not when the bloke is conflating the OS it's running, with the manufacturer.

            It's like saying Linux is shit because my HP computer crashes all the time. Don't blame it on Linux, blame it on the crap HP sells. It does sound like he bought a "landfill" Android phone and reaped the "reward"

            1. ThomH Silver badge

              Re: long lived phones @ Voyna i Mor

              > Not when the bloke is conflating the OS it's running, with the manufacturer.

              Something which he notably doesn't do: "I will never buy an Android device again ... and it's Samsung's fault, they made the Android phone which so thoroughly annoyed me"; that's a condemnation of Samsung for a bad phone and for scarring him as to a platform, not a generalisation.

  6. johnnyblaze

    Not rocket science

    Apple are shipping less, or at least flat sales, but are increasing the average selling price, so revenues are up. Not rocket science. The fact they no longer want to report sales numbers, just revenue and profit says it all really. Hide the numbers, just report increased revenue to keep the market and share price happy. MS did that a long time ago, only releasing numbers when it suited them.

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: Not rocket science

      It's the same as charities. They found it was difficult to get new donors, easier to persuade existing donors to pay more. So long as donor erosion is slower than average donation increase, it's a winning strategy.

      One presumes that, given the slow population increase in the developed world, Apple's potential growth is slow in terms of numbers. So jack up the ASP as social inequality increases as delivers fewer people but with more money. Sell them add-ons like watches; increase the price of courageous earpieces; make more money from services.

      Having myself been at one time on the fringes of the luxury goods market, it's what I would do in their position. Because outside the US the Chinese are not just coming, they have arrived, parked the tanks on the lawn, and are giving the proletariat what it wants.

  7. teknopaul Bronze badge

    63 billion

    Thats too much money.

    Talk free market, walk Monolpoly.

    Selling phones is not a natural monopoly. More and more the device that uses the internet _is_ the market.

  8. AK565

    "It just works"

    Add me to that category of fanboi. I was Blackberry man until I was forced to Android. There were constant issues of one type or another. Eventually I noticed that my colleagues with iPhones had far fewer work-related phone problems than I did. I made the switch to iPhone a month ago and am overall more satisfied than I was with android.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: "It just works"

      Yep, my Samsung A3 just works, just like my Galaxy G2 before that. I like it so much (*), in fact, that I persuaded my wife and my daughter to get the same model. They're happy as well.

      I will never pay the iTax, I see no reason to.

      * - except for the fact that I hate smartphones in general and I will drop this one like a hot brick as soon as I retire and no longer require one for work

      1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: "It just works"

        "except for the fact that I hate smartphones in general and I will drop this one like a hot brick as soon as I retire and no longer require one for work"

        I thought that till I retired. Then I realised it wasn't the phone but the people who had my number. When I retired I got a new number and email address, and suddenly my phone was a useful, friendly piece of equipment that worked on my terms.

        1. Jedipadawan

          Re: "It just works"

          >"Then I realised it wasn't the phone but the people who had my number. "

          I generally find it's just 'people.'

      2. Jedipadawan

        Re: "It just works"

        >"- except for the fact that I hate smartphones in general and I will drop this one like a hot brick as soon as I retire and no longer require one for work"

        My wife LOVES whatsapp and her smartphone.

        I let her communicate with the clients while I stick with my KDE Neon laptop and flip top phone.

        Everyone happy!

    2. Mr_Happy

      Re: "It just works"

      For me my new Android handset gives me less issues than my iPhone X and for a lot less money. As a bonus I chose how it looks and which app is the default, glad to be outside that walled experience

  9. FrankeeD

    They continue to kill off the only products in which I have an interest and raise the prices to ridiculous levels on the others, so it's hard to get very excited about any of their new product offerings. The iPhone SE format - gone; iPad Mini, not gone, but there's no way I'll pay more than $400 for something containing a chip that's 4 generations old. Clearly they made a cynical calculation that they'd make as much selling old tech without any upgrade costs as they would had they given us newer internals.

  10. DoctorNine

    How Apple can sell more phones

    I have a great idea. Make another iPhone SE, but make it thicker, so you could have 2-3 days on battery standby. Oh, and as it would be thicker, no problem to add back in the 3.5 headphone jack. Since it would be extended life, you could call it the iPhone SE-X.

    And we all know SE-X sells.

    1. Jedipadawan
      Happy

      Re: How Apple can sell more phones

      >"And we all know SE-X sells."

      I was just barely hanging in there but thanks to that I have now lost the will to live.

      :-)

  11. Musicman

    Services could be hit at some point too

    Recently Netflix started avoiding paying Apple its 30% in-app purchase fee.

    I wonder what the deal actually is between Netflix and Apple.

    I find it strange that if Apple is unhappy with Netflix bypassing their payment system they still promote them in their app store and within the Apple TV interface.

    If Apple wanted to put their foot down and stop Netflix bypassing they could really hurt them.

    So, I think Netflix has a deal with Apple and don't, in fact, pay 30% (or 15% after a year) but it's not been made public. Imagine if Apple or Netflix (and actually Spotify too) disclosed this?

    Apple could suffer a host of not only PR issues but antitrust issues that would lead to a potential massive drop in their "Services" revenue.

    Apple are not fair in their charges to developers of IOS apps. Especially subscription apps with content served from developer's servers at the developer's own costs.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Services could be hit at some point too

      If Apple wanted to put their foot down and stop Netflix bypassing they could really hurt them.

      Nail on head, hit. Which is why Apple is trying to be better at services and let's face it, it's done well enough to create a pretty captive market that is loathe to leave the fold. I think betting on the higher ASP is a bit short-sighted but Cook has the numbers and knows more about this than I do. But even if it doesn't work out, they've still got millions tied into their services and might well try and offer their own exclusive content. After all, we know that the trustbusters seem to be blind when it comes to Apple.

      I think they make good products but I also think, that just like everyone else, they love a restrictive practice when they see it.

    2. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      Re: Services could be hit at some point too

      Apple services are tightly locked to Apple products and the internal workings of the OS. Ditching hardware to be a services company isn't going to work. It reminds me of Classic MacOS that was so tangled in itself that most of it had to be emulated in OS X.

  12. darklord

    ok heres a question

    How many android users who think they have a cheap handset actually bought a phone off contract.

    so paid the real price of the handset and then tell me a comparable phone with the same build quality is cheaper.

    I only knpow one person who bought an off contract phone.mevery one else is on contract

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ok heres a question

      Most people buy there phones, Android or Apple through contracts nowadays. It's the only reasonable means of having a top of the range anything at almost no cost..

  13. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Mr. Flibble's very cross

    "The number of units sold in every quarter has not been representative of the underlying strength of our business," Apple CFO Luca Maestri told analysts on an earnings call.

    This says to me that Apple's customers got it wrong and not Apple. Apple's customers didn't buy as many units as Apple had been expecting. Mr. Flibble comes to mind here: Mr. Flibble's very cross.

    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOE7qTAK87o

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