Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

iPhone sales are much stronger than Apple’s Q1 numbers would have you believe

iPhone Popularity

As many predicted, Apple yesterday posted record-breaking earnings for the recent holiday quarter. When the dust settled, Apple recorded $88.3 billion in revenue, nearly $4 billion more than the revenue it posted during the same quarter a year ago.

Revenue aside, iPhone sales for the quarter did check in below some analyst projections. Specifically, Apple sold 77.3 million iPhones during the last three months of 2017, representing a slight decrease from the 78.3 million units it sold during the holiday quarter last year.

While some were quick to pounce on a year-over-year decrease in iPhone sales as evidence that we’ve reached peak iPhone — a sentiment analysts have been hurling at Apple for quite a few years now — a closer look at the numbers reveals that the strength of Apple’s iPhone line remains incredibly healthy, if not under-appreciated.

For starters, it’s worth noting that Apple’s 2017 holiday quarter included 13 weeks while the 2016 holiday quarter encapsulated 14 weeks. So right off the bat, a year over year comparison doesn’t necessarily provide us with a level playing field.

Doing some simple math, Apple over the last quarter sold 5.94 million iPhones per week (77.3/13). In a hypothetical scenario where the recent quarter included 14 weeks — as it did last year — it’s fair to assume that Apple could have easily sold upwards of 83 million iPhones for the quarter gone by.

Beyond that, it’s worth noting that Apple’s brand new flagship — the iPhone X — did especially well since launching a few weeks back. During Apple’s earnings conference call yesterday, Tim Cook boasted that the iPhone X was the top-selling iPhone model every week since it first hit store shelves. Indeed, a look at the average selling price for the iPhone last quarter gives us a figure of $796, an impressive leap from the $695 figure Apple posted in the year-ago quarter. Consequently, iPhone revenue jumped 13% year-over-year even though unit sales dropped by 1%. In short, customers are clearly excited about the iPhone X, a fact which bodes well for Apple’s upcoming iPhone lineup which will reportedly feature three devices with edge-to-edge-displays.

On a related note, keep in mind that the iPhone X didn’t even launch until early November. In other words, the iPhone X was completely unavailable for 1/3 of the entire quarter yet still managed to have a strong impact on Apple’s bottom line. That said, it stands to reason that if the iPhone X was in plentiful supply in September — when Apple’s iPhone 8 models launched — Apple’s iPhone sales figures for the quarter would have been much higher.

All in all, Apple’s earnings report for the quarter gone by was remarkable on all fronts. iPhone sales remained incredibly strong even during a shortened quarter, and year-over-year revenue increased by double digits in every single one of the geographic regions Apple operates.

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.