Editor’s note: With quarterly revenues in the third quarter to record levels, Apple reports growth in virtually every segment. Technology Business Research Analyst Ezra Gottheil takes a look inside the numbers.
HAMPTON, N.H. – For the first time in two years, Apple reported double-digit revenue growth in 3Q17, 12.2% year-to-year, to a record for the third calendar quarter of $52.6B . Most important for the company, it performed well in segments that have been problematic, like China and iPad. iPhone sales in mainland China grew at a double-digit rate; the new iPad drove double-digit unit growth for the second consecutive quarter in a declining market.
Not only were Mac unit sales up 10.2% year-to-year, also in a down market, but Mac revenue was up 24.9%, illustrating the success of Apple’s price increases.
At the same time, Apple enjoyed success with product lines that until recently had made a relatively small contribution.
Growth for services, which are very sticky and provide ongoing revenue, was at a run rate of 24%. Apple Watch sales increased more than 50% year-to-year, for three consecutive quarters.
These product lines diversify Apple’s revenue streams, and do not face the market saturation problems of smartphones, pcs, and tablets.
Apple believes its success will continue in 4Q17, estimating year-to-year revenue growth from 7% to 11%. TBR agrees with Apple’s optimism, but believes growth will exceed 12%.
The iPhone X will enjoy success, but also Apple’s new array of different models at different price points will bring new customers into the stores and onto the websites.
The Apple Watch will be a popular holiday gift, as will subscriptions to Apple Music.