Sales of iPhones and China weigh down Apple results

A view of an Apple store in Grand Central Station in New York, New York, USA, 29 January 2019. The company is scheduled to report fiscal first-quarter results at the end of of day. EPA-EFE/JUSTIN LANE

SAN FRANCISCO, USA.- Apple on Tuesday presented results that confirmed the difficulties faced by the company, with a reduction in both profits and revenues compared to early last year, troubled by the slowdown in China and a decline in sales of the iPhone.

The company’s CEO, Tim Cook, already warned in early January that there were clouds approaching; in an unusual move (it was the first time in more than 15 years), he sent a letter to shareholders outlining lower revenue expectations for the first quarter of the fiscal year 2019.

In his letter, Cook already named the iPhone and China as the main causes of this change in expectations, something that was confirmed Tuesday when the precise figures were announced.

As a result, the revenue that the company, based in Cupertino, California, achieved between October and December, including the Christmas season, for iPhone sales were $51.98 billion, a decline of 15 percent compared to the $61.1 billion at the beginning of the previous year.

This is not a negligible amount, since the iPhone is still by far Apple’s main source of income, representing more than 60 percent of the total.

Despite reporting total mobile phone revenues, Appel, for the first time, did not reveal the number of phones sold in the last three months, and as there are several price levels for different markets and models, it is impossible to infer the number of sales from revenues.

This change in the way they report their results (which they already announced in November last year) has triggered speculations about the possibly poor reception of Apple’s latest phones on the market, the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR, which are among the most expensive models the company has ever brought out.

Several Apple parts and equipment suppliers around the world have indicated a reduction in orders in recent months, leading many analysts to speculate that the company stopped publishing sales figures to hide this unfavorable reception of their most recent mobiles.

On the other hand, it was possible to quantify the exact impact of the slowdown in China on Apple’s accounts: $4.78 billion was the amount that the American company earned less in the Asian country with respect to the first quarter of last year.

This represents a substantial reduction of 27 percent of sales in what is the second largest market for the company, only behind the United States, and to which were added other declines, although much softer, in Europe and Japan.

On the other hand, Apple’s turnover in the Americas increased between October and December by almost $2 billion compared to the same period last year.

In total, the US multinational over the past three months made a profit of $19.96 billion (0.5 percent less than in the same period in 2018) on $84.31 billion (4.5 percent less) of revenue.

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