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  1. #1
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    [EN] Apple shifts focus to services business





    Executives look to App Store and content after iPhone sales decline hits results

    3 hours ago by: Tim Bradshaw in San Francisco

    Fifteen years ago this week, Apple launched the iPod, unleashing a wave of disruption over the music industry and reviving the fortunes of what was then a struggling computer company. Thanks in part to the growth spurred by the iPod, Apple has never since posted a decline in annual revenues — until this week, when it revealed an 8 per cent drop in sales for 2016.

    Now, the company is looking towards another digital-media revolution to galvanise its business. With sales of its iPhone, iPad, Macs and even the Apple Watch in decline during its fiscal fourth quarter, Apple sought to focus investors’ attention on the one bright spot in Tuesday’s earnings report: its services business.

    These days, that means much more than just the iTunes store that powered the iPod. Revenues from online services such as the App Store, iCloud and Apple Music rose 24 per cent to a record $6.3bn, making it the company’s second largest source of income after the iPhone. That was faster than the 18 per cent growth that analysts at Piper Jaffray had predicted.

    Luca Maestri, Apple’s finance chief, called services the “highlight of the quarter”. “Momentum is very good,” he said in an interview.

    Mr Maestri repeated a prediction first made earlier this year that, if it were a standalone entity, Apple’s services unit would be a large enough business to reach the Fortune 100 rankings of the top US companies by next year. Already, its most recent quarterly sales outstripped Facebook’s second-quarter advertising revenues of $6.2bn.

    Apple first put the spotlight on services in January, at the same time as it said that iPhone revenues would go into decline for the first time. It said then that more than 1bn Apple devices had been in use over the past 90 days.

    They certainly want a narrative that not all of Apple’s future is tied to the iPhone,” says Ben Bajarin, analyst at Creative Strategies. “The underlying tone there is they are emphasising the consistency.”

    However, investors have been slow to shift their view of Apple as a volatile hardware maker, vulnerable to the fluctuations of the consumer electronics market, rather than a software company with stable recurring revenues. After all, the iPhone still makes up almost two thirds of Apple’s revenues, a ratio that is changing only slowly.

    “Investors we talk to are largely dismissive of the long-term impact that services can have on the Apple model,” Piper Jaffray said in a recent note. “We believe the multiple on shares of Apple will rise over the next two years as investors slowly appreciate the sustainability and profitability [of the] services business.”

    In Tuesday’s call with analysts, Mr Maestri tried to emphasise the predictability of the services business.

    “Over time [customers] tend to spend more and more on our services,” he said. “Customers are very engaged with our products, they are very loyal.”

    App Store revenues were up in the “strong double digits”, boosted by in-app payments from games such as Pokémon Go, while music revenues grew by 22 per cent thanks to the growing popularity of its subscription service, which now has 17m subscribers. Apple Pay, commission for which is also included in the services line, saw a 500 per cent year-on-year increase in transactions in the quarter ending in September.

    One kind of digital service that does not yet make much of a contribution to Apple, however, is television. Over the past few years, Apple is said to have discussed various potential TV services with content and cable companies but so far it has not come up with an alternative to the standard cable or satellite bundle. Instead, the latest version of its Apple TV box, released a year ago, focuses on standalone apps, such as HBO Now, to which customers can subscribe without a cable contract.

    Apple has not released sales figures for its TV set-top box but it does not yet appear to have made a meaningful contribution to the iPhone maker’s business. Apple TV is grouped alongside iPods, Beats headphones and Apple Watch in the “Other Products” division, where sales saw a 22 per cent decline in the last quarter.

    Pressed by analysts on his vision for TV, Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said that it remains an area of “intense interest”. After a few standalone videos related to Apple Music, such as a Taylor Swift concert, Apple now has exclusive shows in development such as Planet of the Apps, a reality TV show for software developers, and Carpool Karaoke, a spin-off of CBS’s The Late Late Show with James Corden. Mr Cook suggested that these are just the start.

    “I think it’s a great opportunity for us, both from a creation point of view and an ownership point of view,” he said. “It is an area that we are focused on.”

    Earlier this year, Apple executives considered an acquisition of Time Warner, the FT reported in May. Following AT&T’s planned $85.4bn takeover of that media group, Mr Cook did not rule out a large-scale deal that might transform Apple’s content business, just as the iPod and iTunes transformed the company 15 years ago.

    “We are open to acquisitions of any size that are of strategic value where we can deliver better products to our customers and innovate more,” he said. “We look at a whole variety of companies … We are definitely open [to doing deals] and we definitely look.”

    https://www.ft.com/content/68e80a44-...6-568a43813464
    Última edição por 5ms; 26-10-2016 às 07:50.

  2. #2
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    PR: Apple Reports Fourth Quarter Results

    Services Revenue Grows 24% to All-Time Quarterly Record of $6.3 Billion.

    Apple’s more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it.

    Cupertino, California — Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2016 fourth quarter ended September 24, 2016. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $46.9 billion and quarterly net income of $9 billion, or $1.67 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $51.5 billion and net income of $11.1 billion, or $1.96 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 38 percent compared to 39.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 62 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

    “Our strong September quarter results cap a very successful fiscal 2016 for Apple,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’re thrilled with the customer response to iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and Apple Watch Series 2, as well as the incredible momentum of our Services business, where revenue grew 24 percent to set another all-time record.”

    “We are pleased to have generated $16.1 billion in operating cash flow, a new record for the September quarter,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. “We also returned $9.3 billion to investors through dividends and share repurchases during the quarter and have now completed over $186 billion of our capital return program.”

    Apple is providing the following guidance for its fiscal 2017 first quarter:

    • revenue between $76 billion and $78 billion
    • gross margin between 38 percent and 38.5 percent
    • operating expenses between $6.9 billion and $7 billion
    • other income/(expense) of $400 million
    • tax rate of 26 percent


    Apple’s board of directors has declared a cash dividend of $0.57 per share of the Company’s common stock. The dividend is payable on November 10, 2016 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on November 7, 2016.

    Apple will provide live streaming of its Q4 2016 financial results conference call beginning at 2:00 p.m. PDT on October 25, 2016 at www.apple.com/investor/earnings-call/. This webcast will also be available for replay for approximately two weeks thereafter.


    Consolidated Financial Statements View PDF

    Data Summary View PDF


    http://www.apple.com/newsroom/2016/1...r-results.html

  3. #3
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    Apple's annual profits fall for first time in 15 years as iPhone sales decline



    Company has sold 45.5m iPhones in current quarter, down 5% from last year as analysts worry that the world has reached ‘peak Apple’

    Rupert Neate
    25 October 2016

    Apple has reported its first decline in annual sales and profit in 15 years. The Silicon Valley company, which had bounced back from near bankruptcy in 1997 to become the world’s most valuable company today, told investors on Tuesday night that it had sold $215.6bn (£177bn) worth of iPhones, Watches, Mac computers and other products in the year to 24 September.

    That works out as an 8% decrease on Apple’s record $233.7bn of sales it collected in the previous year. The decline in sales hit the company’s profits, which fell 14% to $45.7bn.

    It is the first time Apple’s annual sales or profits have declined since 2001, and some analysts are concerned that the world may have reached “peak Apple”, meaning nearly everyone who wants (and can afford) an iPhone or other products already has one.

    Sales declined by 9% to $46.85bn in the three months to 24 September – the third consecutive quarterly fall. The sales fall hit the company’s quarterly profits which came in at $9bn - a 19% decline on the same period a year earlier.

    The fall in sales was mostly down to declining sales of the iPhone, which is by far Apple’s most important product and accounts for two-thirds of all sales. Apple sold 45.5m iPhones in the quarter, a 5% drop on last year.

    Despite the decline in sales and profits, Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said: “Our strong September quarter results cap a very successful fiscal 2016 for Apple. We’re thrilled with the customer response to iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and Apple Watch Series 2.”

    The iPhone, which first launched in June 2007, has transformed the telecoms industry but Apple is now facing more intense competition from the likes of Google, which last week released its first branded smartphone, the Pixel, and upstart rivals offering much cheaper smartphone devices in key markets such as China.

    The iPhone 7, the latest model, went on sale on 16 September but the company has struggled with supply issues, meaning that most of the uplift from sales will come in the current quarter, which also includes Thanksgiving and Christmas. The current quarter’s sales are also likely to benefit from Samsung’s recall of the Galaxy Note 7, due to a fault that caused some devices to catch fire. Telecoms companies offered Note 7 customers the opportunity to trade in their phones for rival devices such as the iPhone.

    Apple forecast that it would sell $76-$78bn of products in the coming quarter, a 1% increase on last year. The company’s cashpile has grown to $237bn, up from $231.5bn three months ago.

    The company’s share of US smartphone users remains static at 43.5%, according to research firm eMarketer. In the UK, 31.8% of smartphones are iPhones, a slight increase on last year. The great hope for Apple was emerging markets such as China and India, but after generating huge year-on-year growth, demand has decreased. Apple’s share of the Chinese market has fallen from 9.2% to 6.7% as local competitors up their game and offer decent rivals at much cheaper prices.

    Thomas Husson, an analyst at Forrester Research, said: “The new iPhone 7 devices were only on sale for few weeks during the quarter – so it is unlikely they were able to prevent quarterly iPhone sales to continue to decline. It will be key to get early performance indicators of how well the new devices sell ahead of the holiday season. It is especially important in non-western markets like India where there is still significant growth. Overall, Apple is still significantly dependent on its iPhone product line but I would expect again a massive growth for new services like Apple Cloud, Apple Music or Apple Pay.”

    Apple’s shares, which had achieved huge growth in recent years, closed at $118.50 on Tuesday – roughly the same level they were at a year ago.

    As well as dealing with flagging iPhone sales, Apple has been hit with a record-breaking demand to repay Ireland €13bn in back taxes after the European commission ruled that a sweetheart tax deal between Apple and the Irish tax authorities amounted to illegal state aid. The commission said the deal allowed Apple to pay a maximum tax rate of just 1%. In 2014, the tech firm paid tax at just 0.005%. The usual rate of corporation tax in Ireland is 12.5%.

    https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...-2016-iphone-7

  4. #4
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    Why investors hope India might be Apple’s new China

    Chris O'Brien
    October 25, 2016

    Amid a tough year for Apple that saw its first revenue decline since 2001, investors are particularly nervous about the steep drop in sales from China. And that has them turning their eyes toward Apple’s opportunity in India.

    Success China has been a big story for Apple in recent years, in particular the wildly enthusiastic embrace of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. But this past year saw sales drop 17 percent compared to an 85 percent increase the previous year.

    In an earnings call yesterday with analysts, Apple executives said they remain optimistic about China, noting that over the past two years, revenue is still up 52 percent. Apple CEO Tim Cook said as much as anything, the company felt the drop was due to those big iPhone 6 sales, coupled with an upgrade cycle that they didn’t understand until it was too late.

    “When that upgrade rate in fiscal year 2016 returned to a more normal upgrade rate, which would be akin to what we saw with the iPhone 5S as a point, it had further to fall,” Cook said. “And so that’s the main reason in our view that you see a difference.Now that spun or created another issue for us, because we didn’t forecast that accurately.”

    Apple CFO Luca Maestri said the company expects better results in China for this current quarter, thanks to the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Though his answer remains a bit cryptic:

    The new phones “give us confidence that our December quarter performance in China will be significantly better on a year-over-year basis than our September quarter results, even as we lap the all-time record period from a year ago,” Maestri said.

    September sales in China were down 30 percent. So, does that mean they will fall, but less than 30 percent? And by “lap,” does that mean he actually expects sales in China to be up? Or just that Apple will move past a record-setting quarter that makes comparison’s difficult?

    In general, Apple still believes big time in China. In the past year it’s announced a big investment in ridesharing company Didi, and plans for two R&D centers in China. And Cook says over the very longterm, the demographic changes in China still look favorable.

    “We continue to see a middle class that is booming there,” Cook said. “There might be some sort of new normal in the economy, but a new normal there is still a good growth rate. And so with the number of middle class – people growing into the middle class and the LTE adoption rate being still fairly low, around 45 percent, 50 percent or so, then I think we continue to have a really good opportunity there, and so we continue to focus significantly in China.”

    Still, Apple faces tough competition from a wide range of Android-device makers that have cut into its China market share. And with China’s economic outlook uncertain, many investors are now wondering if India might provide more hope for driving consistent growth for Apple in the coming years.

    In the earnings call, Apple highlighted the fact that iPhone sales in India were up 50 percent in fiscal year 2016. Cook said the company certainly thinks it has a big opportunity in India.

    “On India, I think it’s important to look not only at per capita income, which may be what you’re looking at, but sort of look at the number of people that are or will move into the middle class sort of over the next decade,” Cook said on the earnings call. “And the age of the population, if you look at India, almost 50 percent of the population is under 25. And so you have a very, very young population.”

    Cook said he believes the wireless networks are finally coming online that will help Apple’s sales. The company noted that Reliance Jio, a large carrier, is investing heavily in rolling out 4G in 18,000 cities and 200,000 villages. The carrier is offering a one-year free service contract to anyone who buys an iPhone.

    “We believe we’re just beginning to scratch the surface of this large and growing market opportunity,” Cook said.

    Later, Cook added: “The smartphone has not done as well in India in general. However, one of the key reasons for that is the infrastructure hasn’t been there. But this year or this year and next year, there are enormous investments going in on 4G and we couldn’t be more excited about that because it really takes a great network working with iPhone to produce that great experience for people. And so I see a lot of the factors moving in the right direction there. I also think the government is much more focused on the infrastructure and on creating jobs, which is fantastic, because you really need the kind of infrastructure and the technology to do that.”

    To the larger question, however of India vs China, Cook said it’s hard to tell if the former can match the latter.

    “Will it be as big as China?” Cook said. “I think it’s clear that the population of India will exceed China sometime in probably the next decade or so, maybe less than that. I think it will take longer for the GDP to rival it, but that’s not critical for us to have a great success there. The truth is, there’s going to be a lot of people there and a lot of people in the middle class that will really want a smartphone, and I think we can compete well for some percentage of those. And given our starting point, even though we’ve been growing a lot, there is a lot of headroom there in our mind, and so we are working very hard to realize that opportunity.”

    http://venturebeat.com/2016/10/25/wh...les-new-china/

  5. #5
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    Apple's Quarterly Sales Fall, but Forecast Calls for Gains

    Brandon Bailey
    Oct 25, 2016

    After stumbling in 2016, Apple is betting on a better year ahead.

    The Silicon Valley tech giant is forecasting a return to growth in iPhone sales this winter, after a rare slump that dropped a wet blanket on Apple's revenue and stock performance over the last three quarters.

    The company is also set to unveil new Mac computers later this week, hoping to boost lagging interest in a set of products that are symbolically significant even if they're less financially important to the company than the iPhone.

    Apple has been struggling with shrinking demand for its signature products at a time when analysts say it's increasingly difficult for tech companies to come up with dramatically new features. Many consumers are holding onto their old smartphones and PCs for longer, seeing little reason to buy a new model that's only slightly better.

    One consequence: Apple sold 45.5 million iPhones in the quarter that ended in September. That was slightly more than the 45 million that Wall Street expected, but still 5 percent fewer than the 48 million iPhones it sold in the same period a year earlier.

    RENEWED INTEREST IN IPHONES

    Still, analysts say consumers are showing renewed interest in Apple's latest iPhone models. Based on early sales, Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri told The Associated Press, "We feel very good about the momentum of the 7 and 7 Plus."

    The 7 and 7 Plus models aren't a radical change from the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which were wildly popular when they were introduced two years ago. But analyst Patrick Moorhead said the new phones have enough improvements, including new camera systems, longer battery life and water resistance, to fare better than last year's lackluster 6S and 6S Plus.

    Apple could also benefit because many iPhone 6 owners may be ready to replace their two-year-old phones.

    The company only started selling the new iPhone 7 models last month, which means it had less than two weeks of sales in the quarter. But Apple's revenue forecast calls for sales of $76 billion to $78 billion in the December quarter. That's higher than the Wall Street estimate, which was just under $75 billion.

    Apple's forecast also represents a modest increase over the $75.8 billion in sales that Apple reported for the December quarter last year, and it suggests the company expects to beat last year's record of 74.8 million iPhones sold in that period, which is traditionally Apple's biggest quarter for sales.

    Maestri wouldn't comment on how many iPhones Apple expects to sell in December quarter, but Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster estimated the company's revenue forecast suggests it will sell 78.5 million iPhones.

    APPLE: STILL IPHONE-DEPENDENT

    Apple shares closed Tuesday at $118.25, but fell two percent in late trading. The stock had been gaining in recent weeks after wallowing below $100 for much of the spring and summer.

    Reporting on its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended Sept. 24, Apple said revenue declined 9 percent to $46.8 billion, while profit fell 19 percent to $9 billion profit. Earnings amounted to $1.67 a share, compared with Wall Street estimates of $1.66 a share on revenue of $47 billion.

    Apple ended its fiscal year with annual sales of $215.6 billion and profit of $45.7 billion. Most companies would be thrilled with those numbers. But some analysts warn Apple relies too heavily on a single product line, the iPhone, which contributed nearly two thirds of Apple's revenue.

    "Management hasn't diversified the revenue stream," said BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis, who noted that Apple faces a host of competitors in a global smartphone market that's seeing slower growth overall. "Counting phones is a horrible way to live and die every quarter."

    SAMSUNG'S BAD NEWS: GOOD NEWS FOR APPLE

    Some of Apple's growth in coming months may come at the expense of its biggest rival. South Korea's Samsung was forced this month to recall its entire output of Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, which it introduced this fall to compete with Apple's newest iPhones. As consumers look for alternatives, analysts say that could boost iPhone unit sales by 5 million or more in the coming year.

    Apple had its own setbacks this year, though on a lesser scale. While notoriously tight-lipped about future plans, Apple is widely believed to be working on new products in areas like virtual reality and self-driving cars. But the company recently shifted gears on its automotive ambitions, deciding to focus on creating technology for autonomous vehicles, rather than take on the more daunting task of building an entirely new car. According to news reports, the shift led Apple to cut jobs and trim its auto division.

    OTHER HITS STILL ELUSIVE

    Another new product, the Apple Watch, has drawn lukewarm consumer interest since it launched in 2015. Apple doesn't break out watch sales figures, but market researchers at IDC estimate the company shipped 1.1 million units in the last quarter. While that's still more than any other smartwatch maker, it's down significantly from IDC's estimate that Apple shipped 3.9 million watches a year earlier.

    Revenue in Apple's "Other Products" category, which includes the Apple Watch and the iPod music player, fell 22 percent to $2.4 billion in the July-September quarter. Apple recently updated the watch and Maestri said he expects strong sales in coming months.

    Apple's also hoping to reverse a yearlong decline in sales of its Mac computers — its original product line — by unveiling updated Macbook and desktop iMacs later this week. Apple sold 4.9 million Macs in the three months ending Sept. 24, down 14 percent from a year earlier.

    As in other recent quarters, Apple continued to show strength in its "Services" business, which includes iTunes, the App Store, Apple Pay and other digital services. Apple said revenue in that category rose 24 percent to $6.3 billion in the quarter.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wir...st-calls-gains

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