Nobody was expecting a great performance from Apple in the quarter that ended on 31 March. The company issued an 'update on quarterly guidance' on 17 February, indicating that its financials would be affected by COVID-19 due to supply constraints and factory closures as well as declines in demand in China while that country was in lockdown. Just over a month later the rest of the world was heading to lockdown or already stuck at home.
However, despite the circumstances, Apple’s second financial quarter of 2020 isn’t as bleak as you might assume. The company actually saw a tiny amount of revenue growth in the quarter compared to the same quarter in 2019. Apple's chance of managing a similar achievement in the current quarter - which includes April, May and June 2020 - seems unlikely, although the iPhone SE could certainly help.
We’ll have to wait until the end of July to find out though - unusually Apple didn’t offer any kind of guidance for the next quarter when it reported on its financials on 30 April. In these abnormal and uncertain times it’s no real surprise that the company doesn’t feel confident about making any kinds of predictions.
But back to the second quarter results. Despite everything Apple saw sales of $58.3 billion, which is a fraction more than the same quarter in 2019 (when Apple achieved $58 billion revenue). The increase wasn’t down to iPhone, iPad or Mac sales though - all of which saw a decline - it was wearables and services that gave Apple the much-needed boost.
Here’s how the revenue shaped up across those categories:
- iPhone : 7.5 percent decrease from $31 billion to $28.9 billion
- iPad : 10 percent decrease from $4.9 billion to $4.4 billion
- Mac: Less than 3 percent decrease from $5.5 billion to $5.35 billion
- Wearables: 22 percent increase from $5.1 billion to $6.3 billion
- Services: 17 percent increase from $11.5 billion to $13.4 billion
"Despite COVID-19’s unprecedented global impact, we’re proud to report that Apple grew for the quarter, driven by an all-time record in Services and a quarterly record for Wearables," said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.
By looking at revenue from China we might be able to get some idea of how the lockdown will affect the next quarter. Greater China saw $10.2bn in the second quarter of 2019 and $9.4bn in the same quarter of 2020. Europe actually saw an increase in the same period, while the Americas saw a very slight decline.
Here’s how the revenue compared for each region:
- Americas: decrease from $25.6 billion to $25.4 billion
- Europe: increase from $13 billion to $14.3 billion
- Greater China: decrease from $10.2 billion to $9.4 billion
- Japan: decrease from $5.5 billion to $5.2 billion
- Rest of Asia Pacific: increase from $3.6 billion to $3.9 billion
It’s fair to say that nobody will have high expectations for a record-breaking next quarter, however Apple is already benefiting from an increased interest in certain Apple products that can benefit users in the current climate. As Apple CEO Tim Cook said: "In this difficult environment, our users are depending on Apple products in renewed ways to stay connected, informed, creative, and productive." This, combined with the arrival of the iPhone SE at its low price point, will hopefully result in sales for Apple despite the current economic uncertainties.
Read about how Coronavirus is affecting Apple here. We also have the following overview of the new products that Apple could launch in the next few months.