Apple’s latest quarter was a big one with sales growing 12% year-over-year to $52.6 billion, sending its shares up nearly 3% in after-hours trading. But it wasn’t just overall revenue that made for the whopper performance.
The company reported results that would make most any company happy. Here are five key numbers that stood out:
Apple’s wearable business is a lot bigger than you think
Sales in the unit that includes Apple Watch and the wireless AirPods grew 75% year-over-year. Although Tim Cook didn’t give any specific numbers during a call with analysts on Thursday, he said that annual revenue from wearable products is equivalent to a Fortune 400 company. That suggests that wearables account for at least $6.7 billion in annual sales, if you consider sales of energy company Calpine, which is No. 400 on Fortune’s list of the top 500 companies.
Services R’ Us
Services, which includes the Apple Music online streaming service and iCloud storage, had its best quarter ever, with quarterly sales up 34% year-over-year to $8.5 billion. Cook said that the services business is akin to a Fortune 100 company, theoretically on par with corporate heavyweights like Twenty-First Century Fox and cigarette giant Philip Morris.
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Cook said that personal computers and laptops had their best year ever. Quarterly sales of Mac-related PCs and laptops jumped 25% year-over-year to $7.2 billion, which Cook attributed to a strong back-to-school season. That sharply contrasts with recent analyst reports about the overall PC market like one by Gartner that said that the U.S. experienced a weak back-to-school season and that overall PC sales dropped during the a three-month-period ending Sept. 30. Maybe people are just buying Macs instead of Windows-based PCs.
Rebound in China
After six straight quarters of declining sales in China, Apple said that revenue in that country grew 12% year-over-year to $9.8 billion. Cook didn’t say what particular Apple product attributed to the gain, only that “the results were broad-based, they were pretty much across the board,” implying that they were spread across iPhones, iPads, PCs, and services.
See you in augmented reality
Cook remains bullish about AR technology, in which digital images are overlaid onto the physical world through the help of smartphone cameras and screens. Apple currently has over 1,000 AR-apps in its app store, although it’s unclear how many people actually use them. Nevertheless, Cook believes that AR technology “amplifies human performance instead of isolating humans,” unlike virtual reality, for which people must wear big headsets to experience virtual worlds. He believes that the state of AR is “very much like 2008, when we fired the gun in the overall app store.” Give Apple some time, Cook believes, and AR will become a big business for the company.