Apple CEO Tim Cook buoyant over record fourth quarter earnings

Apple CEO Tim Cook is buoyant over the company’s best-ever fourth quarter results with revenue up 2% from the same time last year.

Apple earned a record US$64 billion in revenue. Although iPhone sales fell 9% year-on-year, service revenue hit a record high of US$12.5 billion.

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Apple’s strategy to not concentrate solely on hardware sales and put more emphasis into subscription services seems to be working, The Verge reported.

The world’s largest multinational technology company said it now has “over 450 million paid subscriptions across the services on our platform, compared to over 330 million just a year ago.”

Apple’s new subscription record comes before the launch of Apple TV Plus. The number includes Apple’s new Arcade games service launched in September and AppleCare warranties and subscriptions like iCloud.

“We concluded a groundbreaking fiscal 2019 with our highest Q4 revenue ever, fuelled by accelerating growth from Services, Wearables and iPad,” said Tim Cook, Apple CEO. “With customers and reviewers raving about the new generation of iPhones, today’s debut of new, noise-cancelling AirPods Pro, the hotly-anticipated arrival of Apple TV+ just two days away, and our best lineup of products and services ever, we’re very optimistic about what the holiday quarter has in store.”

In September, Apple launched the iPhone 11 priced at $US699, $US50 lower than the debut price of the iPhone XR. In addition, Apple is running aggressive trade-in deals that lower upgrade prices for existing iPhone owners in the US.

“The starting price of $US699 is a factor in bringing more people into the market and giving people just another reason to upgrade,” Cook told Reuters. “In China specifically … we picked locally relevant price points that were more similar to the price points that had great success with earlier.”

The company based in Cupertino, California, is forecasting revenue for the first quarter of 2020 between US$85.5 billion and US$89.5 billion, compared to the US$84.3 billion it made in the first quarter of 2019.

Tim Cook commence speech, Stanford University, Twiitter

Cook told Reuters that the revenue guidance was based on strong sales of services and wearables, as well as promising early sales for the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max released last month.

Cook said the forecast also reflects the company’s belief that the US and China will resolve their trade dispute.

“I don’t know every chapter of the book, but I think that will eventually happen,” Cook said. “I certainly hope it happens during the quarter, but we’ll see about that.”

The technology company’s shares rose about 2% to US$247.50 in after-hours trading after the results.

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