Apple’s Week Proves Being Rich Doesn’t Matter
It was supposed to be a big week for Apple. But now, some are left scratching their heads.
This week, Apple had two major events: its fiscal fourth quarter earnings release and its MacBook Pro press event. While they were major, they didn’t necessarily deliver good news. Apple’s earnings report showed a decline in the company’s revenue, worrisome signs of weakness in the iPad and Mac divisions, and ongoing trouble with getting enough iPhone 7 units to customers. Meanwhile, Apple’s (AAPL) Mac event showcased a nice new MacBook Pro, but little else.
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While Apple added billions to its coffers, it’s hard to peg this week a positive one. It was overrun with missteps and disappointments that overshadowed its important announcements. Oh, and it included a surprising jail sentence for a man charged with damaging tens of thousands of dollars in Apple store hardware.
Read on for the biggest headlines from Apple’s so-so week:
- Apple posted another disappointing quarter this week and announced its first full-year revenue drop in 15 years. Apple’s fiscal fourth quarter revenue was down 9% to $46.9 billion and iPhone sales took a beating as unit sales and revenue declined by 5% and 13% year over year. Apple’s iPad and Mac businesses similarly had trouble last quarter. However, there were some highlights: Apple’s Services business is now its second-largest after growing its revenue 24% year-over-year to land at $6.3 billion. Apple also grew its cash stockpile by $6.1 billion to a record $237.6 billion. One other tidbit: Apple Pay transaction volume was up 500% year-over-year in the last quarter.
- While Apple didn’t break out Apple Watch sales for last quarter, research firm IDC this week said the company’s smartwatch is having some trouble. The research firm said that while Apple Watch is still the market leader with 41.3% market share, shipments in the third quarter were down 71.6% year-over-year to 1.1 million units. The entire smartwatch market saw shipments plunge by 51.6% and land at 2.7 million devices.
- Apple’s biggest announcement this week was a new MacBook Pro. The computer, which was unveiled at its press event on Thursday, comes with a slimmed-down design, improved processing and graphics power, and a brighter display. Most importantly, it features a long-awaited Touch Bar above the keyboard that also provides support for Touch ID. The new laptop will reach store shelves in mid-November, though customers can order it now. If you’re interested in finding out how the Touch Bar works, click here.
- Unfortunately for Apple, its big MacBook Pro surprise wasn’t a surprise at all. Just days before it planned to unveil the computer, it released an update to its desktop operating system macOS Sierra with not-so-hidden images of its new MacBook Pro. Whoops.
- Despite hopes for big announcements, Apple’s event was surprisingly devoid of other major releases. In fact, Apple didn’t announce another Mac update at the show and many prospective Apple customers are a little upset that the company didn’t improve its other computers.
- Apple did, however, announce a new content-discovery service for the Apple TV it’s simply calling TV. The tvOS service, which will launch in December, will let users find and access content on the Apple TV across a slew of apps, as well as stream some live programming. So far, Netflix hasn’t yet signed on, causing some to criticize the feature’s “conspicuous holes.”
- As promised, Apple released the fitness-friendly Apple Watch Nike+ on Oct. 28. The smartwatch, a collaboration between Apple and Nike, is now available for $369. It was announced at Apple’s iPhone press event in September and was pitched to customers as a suitable companion for athletes.
- While the Apple Watch Nike+ made it to store shelves on Friday, Apple was forced to delay its AirPods wireless earbuds this week. Apple said that it needed “a little more time” to get the AirPods ready for release, but hasn’t yet offered a new ship date. The AirPods are designed to work with Apple’s new headphone jack-free iPhone 7.
For more about Apple’s iPhone 7, watch:
One more thing… A man who went on a hardware-smashing binge in an Apple Store near Dijon, France received a six-month suspended sentence this week. He was also ordered to pay Apple more than $19,000 for the damage he allegedly caused and will need to serve two years probation.