Prior to Apple's special iPhone event at the new Steve Jobs Theater on September 12th, Patently Apple posted a report titled " It's Circus Time: Apple Competitors race to discredit the coming iPhones as behind the Curve & Late to Market." Competitors claimed they had better phones that Apple's, rumors were saying the iPhone was a failure and that the delays with iPhone X were disastrous. The naysayers were first kicked in the head when Apple revealed that iPhone X pre-order sales were off-the-charts. Android fans told me it was all just marketing talk with nothing to back up the claims. Well, today Apple's CEO made it crystal clear that the iPhone 8 is the best selling iPhone model ever and the line-ups for iPhone X were quite evident in Singapore this afternoon. All the crazy doom and gloom reporting by rumor sites and around the blogosphere were simply noise that the Apple circus seems to attract each year. This afternoon Apple's CEO Tim Cook delivered his opening statement for the quarter and below is a transcript of his comments. Other than skipping the introductory hello, our report jumps right into where it really begins.
On International Markets
"This was our biggest year ever in most parts of the world, with all time record revenue in the United States, Western Europe, Japan, Korea, the Middle East, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe and Asia.
We had a particularly strong finish this year generating our highest September quarter revenue ever as year over year accelerated for the fourth consecutive quarter. Revenue was $52.6 billion which was at the high end of our guidance range and up 12% last year.
We generated revenue growth across all of our product categories and showed all-time record results for our services business.
As we expected we returned to growth in Greater China with unit growth and market share gains for iPhone, iPads and Macs. In fact it was an all-time record quarter for Mac sales in mainland China, as well as an all-time high for services revenue.
And revenue from emerging markets outside of greater China was up 40% with great momentum in India where revenue doubled year over year. We also had great results in enterprise and education with double digit growth and worldwide customer purchases of of iPad and Mac in both markets.
Gross margin for the September quarter was at the high-end of our guidance range and thanks to exceptional work by our teams, we generated record fourth record earnings per share of $2.07, up 24% from a year ago. "
"iPhone sales exceeded our expectation. In the last week and a half of September we began shipping iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus to customers in more than 50 countries. They instantly became our two most popular iPhone models and have been every week since then.
As we speak, the launch of iPhone X is now under way as stores open across Australia and Asia. iPhone X is packed with innovative new technologies that chart our path for the next decade. Technologies like the TrueDepth camera system, Super Retina display and A11 Bionic chip with Neural Engine which has been development for years with a focus on deep machine learning.
iPhone X enables totally new experiences like unlocking your iPhone with Face ID, taking photos with studio quality lighting effects, playing emersive Augmented Reality games. We can't wait for people to experience our vision of the future. Orders have already been very strong and we're working to get iPhone X in customer hands as soon as possible."
"Turning to services. Revenue reached an all-time quarterly record with $8.5 billion in the September quarter. A few quarters ago, we established a goal of doubling our fiscal 2016 services revenue of $24 billion by the year 2020 and we are well on our way to meeting that goal. In fiscal 2017, we reached 30 billion making our services business already the size of a Fortune 100 company.
We're also delighted to report our second consecutive quarter of double digit unit growth for iPad. Customers have responded very positively to the new iPad lineup. And with the launch of iOS 11, the iPad experience has become more powerful than ever with great new features for getting things done like the new dock, Files app, drag and drop, multitasking, and more power than most PC notebooks.
The launch of iOS 11 also made iOS the world's largest platform for Augmented Reality. There already are over a thousand apps with powerful AR features in our App Store today with developers creating amazing new experiences in virtually every category of app aimed at consumers, students and business users alike.
Put simply, we believe AR is going to change the way we use technology forever. We're already seeing things that will transform the way you work, play, connect and learn. For example, there are AR apps that you interact with virtual models of everything you can imagine from the human body to the solar system. And of course you experience them like you're really there.
Instantly education becomes much more powerful when every subject comes to life in 3D. And imagine shopping when you can place an object in your living room before you make a purchase – or attending live sporting events when you can see the stats on the field. AR is going to change everything.
iOS 11 is also allowing developers to integrate machine learning models into their apps with CoreML." Cook went on to list a few of the apps using CoreML into their apps for fast visual search and medical apps."
On the Mac
"Next I'd like to talk about the Mac. It's had its best year ever with the highest annual Mac revenue in Apple's history. It was also the best September quarter ever with Mac revenue growth of 25% driven by the notebook refreshes we launched in June and a strong back to school season.
The Mac experience has become even better since the September launch of macOS High Sierra with new technologies to make Mac more reliable, capable and responsive and lays the foundation for future innovation."
On Apple Watch
"Moving on now to Apple Watch. With unit growth of over 50% for the third consecutive quarter, it continues to be the best selling and most loved smartwatch in the world. We began shipping Apple Watch series 3 just six weeks ago and customers love the new freedom of cellular. The ability to go for a run with just your Apple Watch or go for a quick errand without your phone while staying connected is a game changer.
Now more than ever, Apple Watch is the ultimate device for healthy lives and is already a big difference in our customer's lives. We're very excited about the upcoming launch of the Apple heart study which will use data from Apple Watch to identify irregular heart rhythms and notifiy users when unusual patterns are detected.
Earlier this week we introduced watchOS 4.1 bringing 40 million songs to your wrist through Apple Music. The combination of music streaming on Apple Watch and AirPods is truly a magical experience for people on the go.
We're thrilled with the momentum of these products. In fact, our entire wearables business was up 75% year over year in the fourth quarter and in fiscal 2017 already generated the annual revenue of a Fortune 400 company."
On Apple TV
"Late in the September quarter we also launched Apple TV 4K delivering a stunning cinematic experience at home. So now users around the world can watch movies and shows in 4K HDR quality and stream live sports and news on the Apple TV app.
There's already a great selection of 4K HDR titles available through iTunes and other popular video services with many more movies and shows on the way."
On Apple Retail and Community Colleges
"We're also very excited about opening of Apple Michigan Avenue two weeks ago on Chicago's Riverfront. This is the first store that brings together our complete vision of the future of Apple retail providing a welcoming place for everyone to experience our products, services and inspiring educational programs right in the heart of their city.
In addition to our very popular 'Today at Apple' programming, which is available in all Apple Stores around the world offering daily sessions in photography, music creation, art and design, coding and Entrepreneurship, Apple Michigan Avenue is partnering with local non-profit and creative organizations to make an ongoing positive impact in that community.
Also this quarter we expanded our free app development with Swift curriculum to more than 30 community colleges across the country. We're very excited about this initiative and we're thrilled by the momentum we're seeing. The Schools that we launched with this summer is just the beginning.
Community colleges have a powerful reach into communities where education is the great equalizer and the colleges adopting our curriculum this academic year are providing opportunities to millions of students to build apps that will prepare them for careers in software development and information technology and much more.
We're incredibly enthusiastic about what are teams have accomplished this year and all the amazing products in our lineup. As we approach the holiday season, we expect it to be our best quarter ever. I'd like to thank all of our teams, our partners and our customers for their passion, commitment and loyalty. You've helped us make 2017 a sensational year."
Patently Apple may cover some of the Q&A session from the conference in a separate report in the next couple of days if there's enough to write about. Until then I hope you enjoyed the transcript which is likely to be referred to throughout the quarter and in future reports.
Isn't it fun to see the naysayers go down in flames quarter in and quarter out. All those rumor suckers and doomers are really clowns and Apple's quarter knocked it out the park. Way to go Apple – and tomorrow iPhone X mania begins! On with the show ... in Australia.
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