At Apple's Q3 2017 earnings call last night, a bullish Tim Cook announced "very strong results" for the latest fiscal quarter, with "unit and revenue growth in all of our product categories". More specifically, overall revenue is up, Mac and iPhone sales are up and even iPads performed well, driven by the launch of the lower-priced iPad 9.7in (2017).
Q3 2017 summary
- Revenue of $45.4bn, up from $42.4bn in the same quarter a year ago
- Earnings per diluted share of $1.67, up from $1.42
- Gross margin of 38.51%, up from 38.02%
- Operating expenses of $6.72m
- iPhone unit sales up 2%, revenue up 3%
- iPad unit sales up 15%, revenue up 2%
- Mac sales up 1%, revenue up 7%
- Services revenue up 22%
- Other products revenue up 23%
Apple has declared a cash dividend of $0.63 per share of common stock, payable on 17 August.
How does this compare with Apple's predictions?
This is at the upper end of Apple's predictions.
While reporting on Q2, the company provided the following estimates for its fiscal 2017 third quarter:
- Revenue between $43.5 billion and $45.5 billion
- Gross margin between 37.5 percent and 38.5 percent
- Operating expenses between $6.6 billion and $6.7 billion
- Other income/(expense) of $450 million
- Tax rate of 25.5 percent
How many iPhones did Apple sell in Q3 2017?
iPhones remain by a distance Apple's most important product category, so the firm will be relieved that sales here were solid.
Apple sold 41.026 million iPhones in Q3, up 2 percent on Q3 2016. It made revenue of $24.846bn from this, an increase of 3 percent from the same quarter last year.
That's an average selling price (ASP) of $605.62, slightly up on last year's ASP of $595.26.
How many iPads did Apple sell in Q3 2017?
On the face of it at least, iPads - which have been flat or declining for a while - are the stars of this quarter's results, up an impressive 15 percent in unit sales (11.424 million units, compared to 9.950 million). But revenue was up only 2 percent, at $4.969bn.
In other words the ASP is significantly down. It was $434.96 this quarter, compared to $490.05 last year.
So while the launch of the iPad 9.7in (2017) has given iPad sales exactly the kick they needed, customers are taking the opportunity to spend less on their tablets than in the past.
How many Macs did Apple sell in Q3 2017?
The Mac department had the opposite experience to the iPads: significantly more revenue from only slightly more unit sales.
Apple sold 4.292 million Mac units, up 1 percent from the 4.252 million last year. But revenue, at $5.592bn, was 7 percent up on the $5.239bn earned in Q3 2016.
The ASP has therefore gone up, from $1,232,13 to £1,302.89.
How many Apple Watches did Apple sell in Q3 2017?
We don't know exactly, because as usual Apple rolled this product's sales in with the generic 'Other products' categories. But Apple seems to be feeling good about watch sales, and said they are up 50 percent on last year.
The Other Products category saw revenues of $2.735bn this quarter. That's up 23% on Q3 2016. Bear in mind, however, that not all of this is down to Apple Watches; the AirPods are also included in this category.
One analyst, Ben Bajarin, has estimated that Apple Watch sales may be around 2-3 million units for the quarter. Assuming an ASP of around $400 that would translate into revenues of $800m to $1.2bn. Canalys believes that the company's record sales for this product line came in Q4 2016, where it shifted around 6 million units.
Services (a category which includes app sales, iTunes, Apple Pay, Apple Music, and iCloud storage) saw quarterly revenues of $7.266bn. That's up 22 percent on Q3 2016.
Apple is providing the following guidance for its fiscal 2017 fourth quarter:
- revenue between $49 billion and $52 billion
- gross margin between 37.5 percent and 38 percent
- operating expenses between $6.7 billion and $6.8 billion
- other income/(expense) of $500 million
- tax rate of 25.5 percent
How to listen to Apple's earnings call
You can still listen to Apple's financial results conference call on Apple's website; as well as the raw numbers, you'll hear from Apple executives as they discuss the earnings report and give hints about what's to come.
To listen, you'll need an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with Safari on iOS 6.0 or later, a Mac with Safari 5.1.10 or later on OS X v10.6.8 or later or a PC with QuickTime 7 on Windows or Microsoft Edge on Windows 10.
Read on to find out about previous quarters' performance, and how many iPhones, iPads and Macs Apple sold in the past.