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Apple raked in a stunning $1 billion a day last quarter, during a pandemic

The iPhone maker’s business grew 54% over the same quarter last year, which ended just as the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

Apple raked in a stunning $1 billion a day last quarter, during a pandemic
[Photo: Apple]
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Ninety billion. That’s the number.

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Apple reported almost $90 billion in revenues for January, February, and March of 2021 ($89.6 billion), beating Wall Street expectations handily in the midst of a pandemic. Analysts had expected revenues of $77 million.

Sales rose 54% over the same quarter last year, most of which was before the full effects of the pandemic hit in the United States.

“This quarter reflects both the enduring ways our products have helped our users meet this moment in their own lives, as well as the optimism consumers seem to feel about better days ahead for all of us,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in an earnings press release.

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The growth of Apple’s business was fueled by gains in its services, iPhone, and iPad businesses.

  • Services revenue increased 26%
  • iPhone revenue increased 66%
  • Mac revenue increased 70%
  • Wearables (AirPods and Apple Watch) revenue increased 24%
  • iPad revenue increased 78%

iPhone 12 is a baller

But the big star of the quarter was clearly the iPhone, which saw extraordinary demand. Global revenues for iPhones grew 66% from the March quarter of 2020 to reach nearly $48 billion. iPhone revenue in the previous quarter was roughly $29 billion.

Apple said it saw more people upgrade to iPhones during the March quarter than in any other quarter in its history. This is attributable to the appeal of the new iPhone 12 line, which was launched during the last calendar quarter of 2020.

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Cook said on a conference call with analysts that all five of the best-selling smartphones in the U.S. during the quarter were iPhones. The top two sellers in China were iPhones. Four of the top six in Japan were iPhones. The top four in the U.K., iPhones. The top six in Australia, iPhones.

While many consumer tech companies are struggling with accessing enough chips and other components, Cook said Apple faced “no material supply chain constraints” during the March quarter. This, he said, was one of the factors in the higher-than-expected phone sales.

The company’s stock saw an immediate 4% bounce in after-hours trading after the new numbers were announced.

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The strong revenue number swells Apple’s coffers, certainly enough to buy back $90 billion of its own shares. This removes equity from the marketplace and increases the perceived value of the company. Investors will also be happy to know that Apple will increase its dividend by 7% to 22 cents per share.

About the author

Fast Company Senior Writer Mark Sullivan covers emerging technology, politics, artificial intelligence, large tech companies, and misinformation. An award-winning San Francisco-based journalist, Sullivan's work has appeared in Wired, Al Jazeera, CNN, ABC News, CNET, and many others.

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