Today Apple announced its final quarterly earnings for 2020, a year plagued by the coronavirus pandemic, and economic uncertainty. In Q3 the company posted impressive numbers, beating analysts’ expectations despite the peak of COVID19 and the shuttering of Apple Stores around the world.
For this quarter, Apple posted revenue of $64.7 billion vs. market expectations of $63.48 billion, as for earnings per share, expectations were resting at 70 cents, Apple recorded 73 cents. Apple is also reporting $9 billion in sales from the Mac, and $14.5 billion from its services, both all-time highs.
“Our outstanding September quarter performance concludes a remarkable fiscal year, where we established new all-time records for revenue, earnings per share, and free cash flow, in spite of an extremely volatile and challenging macro environment,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. “Our sales results and the unmatched loyalty of our customers drove our active installed base of devices to an all-time high in all of our major product categories. We also returned nearly $22 billion to shareholders during the quarter, as we maintain our target of reaching a net cash neutral position over time.”Apple
During its conference call, Tim Cook and Luca Maestri remained cautious about the future growth of the iPhone and services. In. a question regarding the new iPhones and 5G adoption around the world, Tim Cook said:
We’re working hard to provide the best experience for our iPhone users. To do so, we’ve been collaborating closely with carriers all around the world to ensure iPhone has great throughput and coverage and battery and call quality. We’ve completed 5G testing so far on over 100 carriers in over 30 regions.Transcript from iMore
Apple also recorded a significant drop in sales in China, which Tim Cook attributed to the delayed launch of the iPhone, saying:
And of course, the not shipping new iPhones for the last two week of September makes that number in the aggregate a negative. But the net is the underlying business in China last quarter was very strong and perhaps very different than than you might think from just a quick look at the stated number. In terms of this quarter, given the explanation for last quarter and the momentum that we’ve got, and as importantly, given the initial data points that we see on iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, although we don’t guide to revenue, as Luca said, I would tell you that we are confident that we will grow this quarter in China.Transcript from iMore