It’s not just Apple fans
2:39 p.m. PT
A popular trope about Apple is that its fans are rabid and willing to spend endlessly on the company. To counteract that perception, Apple’s highlighted how many new people are coming to its products. Worldwide, for example, the company said that even though the Apple Watch was first released six years ago, 75% of the people who bought one in the three months ended in June were new to buying one.
Apple didn’t offer similar data about its phones, but Cook said it was strong. “We had strong double digit growth for switchers, and for upgraders, and in fact it was our largest upgrade quarter for Q3 ever,” he said.
Chip shortage isn’t so bad anymore? Or it’s worse?
2:31 p.m. PT
Apple warned in the past that Mac and iPad supply were dictated by how many chips the company could get hold of, setting up the possibility sales could underwhelm in the future. Instead, Apple CFO Luca Maestri said the company’s been able to set new records despite those troubles. “It is remarkable that the last four quarters for Mac, have been its best four quarters ever,” he said. “This exceptional level of sales success has been driven by the very enthusiastic customer response to our new Macs powered by the M1 chip, which we most recently brought to our newly redesigned iMac.”
In spite of “significant” supply constraints during the quarter, he added, “we also started shipping our new iPad Pro powered by the M1 chip and customer response has been outstanding.”
He said supply constraints will be “higher” during the September quarter.
Apple CEO Cook said he’s “paying more for freight than we’d like to pay” but component costs continue, as an aggregate, to decline.
“In terms of supply constraints and how long they will last,” he said. “I don’t want to predict that today. We’re going to take it sort of one quarter at a time and, as you would guess, we’ll do everything we can to mitigate whatever set of circumstances we’re dealt.”
COVID-19 isn’t just going away
2:11 p.m. PT
Apple’s CEO kicked off the company’s conference call talking about how much people have turned to his company’s products. But he also noted that despite a positive spring and summer, things may be getting tougher again.
“As the last 18 months had demonstrated many times before, progress made is not progress guaranteed and uneven recovery to the pandemic, and the Delta variant surging in many countries around the world have shown us once again that the road to recovery will be a winding one,” he said. “As we look forward to more in person interactions in the future, we’re doubling down on innovation and doing all we can to help charter cores to a healthier and more equitable world.”
While Apple’s business appears to hum, the rest of the world is decidedly less steady. The Centers for Disease Control announced earlier Tuesday that it was re-instituting social masking mandates even among vaccinated Americans, for fearamong children who can’t yet receive the life-saving medicine and the people who’ve opted against receiving one so far.
Even Apple’s already told employees it’s delaying return-to-office plans until October at the earliest, mirroring moves from 2020 when companies began shifting schedules in response to worsening conditions.
Analysts and industry watchers will be watching for any signs from Apple about the future.