December 4, 2021


Future Technology

Apple sales, earnings grow even as coronavirus weighs on iPhone

James Martin/CNET
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

Apple was one of the first major tech manufacturers to warn investors the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 150,000 people worldwide and infected more than 3.2 million, would impact its business. Now we’re learning how much.

Apple’s hardware business largely suffered as the coronavirus spread across the globe. The company warned in February sales would be impacted, and now it’s saying sales of Macs and iPads fell. The biggest drop, however was in iPhones, whose sales of $28.9 billion were nearly 7% below the same time a year ago.

“Despite COVID-19’s unprecedented global impact, we’re proud to report that Apple grew for the quarter,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, in a statement. He said the company’s services and wearables segments, which include Apple TV Plus and AirPods, notched all-time record quarters.

Apple’s financial disclosures are just the latest example of how the coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the world economy. Broadly, more than 30 million Americans to file for unemployment while the US economy shrank nearly 5% between January and March. Now, we’re learning how much it’s hitting the tech industry too. And we’re learning Apple’s far from alone.

Earlier this week, Samsung said it expects near-term phone and TV sales will “decline significantly” because of store closures and other economic issues related to the coronavirus. It’s not alone. Qualcomm, the world’s biggest wireless chip maker, warned earlier this week that it expects a steep drop in global phone shipments.

Apple managed to eke out a rise in sales in the quarter, even as the novel coronavirus took a toll on its operations. But it didn’t provide forward looking guidance, indicating it may not yet know the impact COVID-19 will have.

All told, Apple tallied $2.55 per share in profits on $58.3 billion in sales during its second fiscal quarter, which ended March 28. Those results were up from $2.46 a share and $58 billion the same time a year ago. They also were well above average analyst estimates from Yahoo, which pegged the company’s profits at $2.28 per share from $54.7 billion in sales.

Apple shares, which have been essentially flat so far this year, fell less than 1% in after-hours trading. The company is valued by investors at nearly $1.3 trillion.

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