Apple financial results: Q2 2015 financial results

Apple has announced its financial results for the second quarter of 2015. Find out how the results compare with previous quarters, and what the results mean to consumers. Plus find out how many iPhonesiPadsMacs and other products Apple sold during the period.

Apple's earnings report took place on Monday 27 April, and were communicated to analysts and press via a conference call and press release. The results are for the quarter that began on 1 January and ended on 28 March. Apple's financial year runs from September to September. 

Read about why there is life in the old iPad yet: The iPad: It's not dead yet! We examine whether declining iPad sales should concern Apple

Apple financial results Q2 2015: How much money did Apple make?

Apple announced quarterly revenue of $58 billion and quarterly net profit of $13.6 billion during the call, or $2.33 of diluted share. Compared with revenue of $45.6 billion and net profit of $10.2 billion, or $1.66 per diluted share in the year-ago quarter, so it's a significant improvement.

Last quarter, which remember was the festive period so always tends to be the most profitable month, Apple posted record quarterly revenue of $74.6 billion and record quarterly net profit of $18 billion, or $3.06 per diluted share.

Apple revealed that gross margin for the second quarter of 2015 was 40.8 percent compared to 39.3 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 69 percent of the quarter's revenue, compared with 65 percent last quarter.

During last quarter's earnings call, Apple revealed its predictions for this quarter, suggesting that revenue would be between $52 billion and $55 billion, with a gross margin between 38.5 percent and 39.5 percent, so it exceeded its own expectations.

According to Apple's press release, the growth was fuelled by record second quarter sales of iPhone and Mac, and all-time record performance of the App Store.

"We are thrilled by the continued strength of iPhone, mac and the App Store, which drove our best March quarter results ever," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO.

Apple financial results Q2 2015: How many iPhones did Apple sell?

Taking a closer look at Apple's successful quarter, the company sold 61.2 million units of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus during the first three months of 2015, blasting past the 44 million it shipped during the same quarter of last year when the iPhone 5S was still new. It makes the quarter the second biggest for iPhone sales ever. (The first? Last quarter, when the Cupertino company sold 74.5 million iPhones).

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have been big hits with customers. Apple had only gradually increased the screen size on the iPhone in recent years while makers experimented and found success with larger screens. The two new iPhones finally matched those larger displays and the result was record sales for the quarter.

That also translated into a higher rate of people switching from competitors to the iPhone, the company said. "We're seeing a higher rate of people switching to iPhone than we've experienced in previous cycles, and we're off to an exciting start to the June quarter with the launch of Apple Watch," said Cook.

Perhaps even more impressive than the 40 percent year-on-year jump in iPhone unit sales was the 55 percent jump in revenue from those sales. Thanks to higher average selling prices, revenue from iPhones jumped to $40 billion – or 69 percent of all Apple sales.

Analysts expected Apple to sell 58.1 million iPhones, so Apple smashed that prediction.

Apple financial results Q2 2015: How many iPads did Apple sell?

You may have noticed that we haven't mentioned the iPad so far in this article, and there's a very good reason for that. For more than a year now (year-over-year sales have declined for eight quarters in a row), iPad sales have been shaky, and concern about the future of the tablet is rife.

This quarter, Apple sold 12.62 million iPads, which is down a worrying 23 percent year-over-year. Those sales translate to roughly $5.43 billion, which is lower than the $5.6 billion generated by the Mac, representing the first time ever that Mac revenue has surpassed iPad revenue.

The decline in sales is bound to spark talk about whether or not Apple will continue to update the iPad yearly or begin updating it less often. There may also be speculation about whether or not the rumoured iPad Pro could help the market or whether the decreasing iPad sales mean that the new product will be a flop, or perhaps not be launched at all.

Analysts had hoped for 13.6 million iPad sales, but Apple didn't meet that target.

Tim Cook did address some concerns about the iPad's decline. "We're clearly seeing cannibalisation from iPhone and, on the other side, from the Mac. Of course, as I've said before, we've never worried about that. It is what it is. That will play out. At some point it will stabilize. I'm not sure precisely when but I'm pretty confident that it will.

Apple financial results Q2 2015: How many Macs did Apple sell?

Apple has been impressing us with its Mac sales figures over the past few quarters, far surpassing analyst expectations and growing year-on-year and growing market share in the PC market despite the overall decline of PC sales.

We've seen yet another good quarter for the Mac. Q2 2015 saw Apple sell 4.5 million units, up 10 percent year-over-year, but because the average price of those computers was lower due to Apple's new, more affordable starting prices, revenue was only up by 2 percent.

Results didn't quite match analyst predictions of 4.7 million Macs.

Apple financial results Q2 2015: Apple Watch sales

The Apple Watch only went on sale on 24 April, following a pre-order period that began on 10 April, so we expect to find out more about how successful it's been next quarter, which will represent the first full quarter of availability.

However, Cook did talk a bit about the Apple Watch during the event, saying that he is "very happy" with the reception the Apple Watch has been enjoying.

"Right now, demand is greater than supply," he said. "By some time in late June, we anticipate being in a position where we can sell the Apple Watch in additional countries."

"Adding to the surprise and delight of Apple Watch are the more than 3500 apps that are already available," Cook continued. "We can't wait to see more of the inspiring apps developers dream up for Apple Watch as we head into our Worldwide Developers Conference six weeks from now."

Apple financial results Q2 2015: Apple stock

Apple also announced plans to expand a share buyback scheme and raise its dividend for shareholders. The program was started in previous years as a way to burn through some of its substantial cash pile, but it's generating so much money that the scheme can be expanded.

"We are in a very fortunate position of generating more cash than we need to run our business and make these investments," Cook said, referring to research and development investments and capital expenditures planned by Apple.

Read: Complete guide to buying Apple shares

Apple financial results Q2 2015: Predictions

Looking ahead, Apple said it expects revenue in the quarter to be between $46 billion and $48 billion, up from $37.4 billion in the same quarter last year.

Apple financial results Q2 2015: New product hints

There wasn't much in the way of hints at future products, but that doesn't mean there was nothing. In fact, we're quite excited about the future of Apple TV after Cook spoke about the success of HBO Now on the device: "I think we're on the early stages of just major, major changes in media that are going to be really great for consumers and I think Apple can be part of that."