Apple Bounces Back with Solid Quarter, Hints at iPhone 8 Launch

Company sold 41 million iPhones in the quarter, but iPads were newsier; Apple shipped a whopping 11.4 million tablets, its biggest non-holiday quarter for the tablet in more than two years.

Apple.WWDC.2017

The world may not be fully saturated with iPhones after all, even though there are 1.2 billion of them out there in people’s pockets--one for every seven people on the planet--and that Apple sold 41 million more of them in the last three months.

Not that the world’s richest company was overly worried about anything, but Apple turned in a Q3 2017 earnings report Aug. 1 that was a bounce-back from Q2, in which the device maker saw a hitch in iPhone sales that translated to $1 billion less in revenue than had been projected by Wall Street analysts.

In its Q3 affidavit, Apple reported typically good numbers: $8.7 billion profit, or $1.67 per share, on revenue of $45.4 billion.

The 41 million iPhones sold was a slight increase from a year ago, when Apple moved more than a little more than 40 million handsets.

Unexpected sales news Aug. 1 had to do with a resurgence in the iPad—in particular, the new, larger version. Following the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro released at WWDC in June, Apple sold a whopping 11.4 million tablets, its biggest non-holiday quarter for the tablet in more than two years. That represents an increase of about 30 percent over last quarter.

In after-hours trading, Apple’s stock jumped about 5 percent on the news. 

The company also released new updates of MacBooks and iMacs during Q3, but they didn’t move the needle on Apple’s bottom line as did the iPhones and iPads. Apple sold a total of 4.3 million Macs, flat compared to a year ago.

Apple’s Services revenue set a record with $7.3 billion in income, an increase of 22 percent from a year ago.

In a conference call, Cook praised Apple’s results, saying the company enjoyed growth in all product categories. CEO Tim Cook pointed out on the conference call to analysts and journalsits that the iPhone 7 Plus model was up “dramatically over the same quarter last year and showing “strong double-digit growth” for the family.”

Naturally, the fact that the iPhone's average selling price increased from $595 to $606 year over year played a part in the revenue rise.

Apple doesn’t specify its watch sales, but Cook said sales were up over 50 percent year over year. 

As far as guidance for next quarter is concerned, Apple said it expects revenue between $49 billion and $52 billion, implying a usual iPhone launch at the end of September.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he has...