And all the other Apple news and rumors this week.
Apple’s week was full of surprises.
In announcing earnings on Tuesday, the company surprised many investors by disclosing that iPhone unit sales fell 1% from the same period a year earlier to 50.8 million. It was one of the few worrisome details in an otherwise strong quarter.
While earnings factored heavily in this week’s discussions, it was by no means the only big Apple news. Construction of Apple Park, the company’s new Cupertino, Calif. headquarters, appears to be making good process based on a new video of the site taken from a drone.
Another Apple nugget that got attention this week was that the company is working on a smart home hub—a competitor to Amazon’s Echo— that may be unveiled at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference next month.
Read on for all this week’s Apple news from the past week.
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- This week, Apple announced earnings for the three months ending April 1, revealing that it had $52.9 billion in revenue. IPhone unit sales fell, but the iPhone division’s revenue was up 1% year over year because of a higher average selling price. Mac sales rose 14%. Apple’s Services division, which includes its Apple Music, continues to soar, with revenue growth of 18%. Even the company’s Other Products division, which includes AirPods and the iPod, returned to growth, with revenue jumping 31%.
- Apple’s disappointing iPhone sales surprised some analysts who had anticipated increased unit sales. In a conference call with analysts, Apple CEO Tim Cook explained the decline by saying that recent rumors about the company’s new iPhones depressed sales. Cook said that anticipation for the expected devices, which could be announced later this year, prompted some iPhone owners to hold off buying new phones because they wanted to see if new models were coming.
- Apple’s iPad is the most popular tablet with a 24.6% market share, according to IDC. However, iPad shipments tumbled 13% in the first three months of this year, IDC said. Overall, manufacturers shipped 36.2 million tablets in the first quarter, an 8.5% decline. Consumers are increasingly turning to lightweight notebooks and two-in-one hybrid computers, putting pressure on tablets to keep pace. So far, they haven’t.
- Apple Park is coming along nicely. Documentarian Matthew Roberts published his latest video of Apple’s headquarters. It showed that the main building, which will have 2.8 million square feet of floorspace, is nearly completed, and that construction crews are installing trees and landscaping. Apple employees are expected to start moving in soon. The moving process for all 12,000 employees is likely to take at least six months.
- For months, Apple has been rumored to be working on a smart home hub that would let users play music and control devices throughout their smart homes. Now, Ming-Chi Kuo, an Apple analyst at KGI Securities, says the company may unveil the device in June at its Worldwide Developers Conference. The device could come with built-in speakers and run on Apple’s virtual personal assistant Siri. It also may also be more expensive than the $180 Echo, according to rumors. Apple, however, hasn’t confirmed it’s working on such a device.
- AirPods are a hit. Apple’s wireless earbuds are already hard to find on store shelves, and according to a study this week from researchers Creative Strategies and Experian, 98% of owners surveyed say they’re either “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with them. That’s a higher satisfaction than the iPhone received in 2007 at the same time in its lifecycle.
One more thing…If you have hundreds of thousands of dollars burning a hole in your pocket and you want to meet Tim Cook, now’s your chance. He’s auctioning a lunch with him to benefit the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights charity. The lunch is valued at $100,000, but bids already top $345,000. The auction ends May 16.