During Apple's live financial conference call this afternoon Apple's CEO Tim Cook stated that he wasn't concerned over iPhone subsidy cuts in China. While admitting there were some "pressures," he quickly noted that 80% of iPhones sold in China today aren't using subsidies. That was a surprising detail. I think it'll take another quarter before the full picture about subsidies is clear. But for now, Apple shows no concern over this issue in the least.
Adding some color to today's initial press release, Apple sold 39.3 million iPhones and 5.5 million Macs. Cook stated that for Macs, it was a "blowout" quarter and that "it doesn't get better than that" at 21% growth year over year.
Apple's iPads were the only major product that didn't see growth this quarter selling only 12.3 million units down from 14 million in the year ago period. Cook continued to downplay the iPad's weakness by enthusiastically stating that the "iPad has a great future" and that he's "very bullish where we can take iPad."
Cook noted that generally analysts are saying that the tablet market is saturated and he couldn't disagree more. He noted that in Japan, growth rates with first time buyers of the iPad were over 50% and some countries it's as high as 80%. Cook stated that such stats confirm to him that the tablet market is not saturated and why he remains bullish on the sector overall.
The highlight of the conference was of course about the iPhone 6 where demand is outstripping supply. Apple's CEO couldn't even begin to provide clearer guidance as to when the supply will even near demand. Cook noted that it's the reason that they were so generous in their guidance for the holiday quarter.
Apple knows that the iPhone 6 demand is staggering but will need more time before the supply provides better visibility. That's not the case with Samsung who continues to stumble in the market due to poor smartphone sales. So it's a nice problem that Apple has.
Furthermore, Cook couldn't even provide guidance as to which of the iPhone 6 models was actually the best seller yet. It's a question that analysts were hoping for, but Apple is currently in the dark as they struggle to bring in new suppliers to fulfill demand. On October 8 we reported that Apple was contracting Pegatron to handle surging iPhone 6 sales followed by a report stating that the upcoming 12.9 inch iPad production will be delayed so that these plants could make more iPhones. Suffice to say that Apple's first Phablet is taking the market by storm and has even caught Apple off-guard.
Lastly, on a minor note, Apple stated that starting in Q1 2015 they'll be breaking down its sales in different categories. As always Apple will have segments for the iPhone, Macs and iPad, but will introduce "services" and "other products."
Analysts were surprised that Apple is set to dump the new Apple Watch into "other products" instead of its own category or a higher profile category. No real explanation was given on that, but nothing is set in stone for the future. One would suspect that Apple needs to get a handle on the volume of sales first before justifying a distinct breakout category.
On a day where Apple's partner IBM had their stock drop by 7.11%, it was great to hear Apple's positive conference and their stellar financials. Apple's stock after hours is up more than 2%.