"Time for investors to adjust to the new disclosures", analysts from the brokerage said. "The second thing is, this is a little bit like if you go to the market and you push your cart up to the cashier and she says or he says, 'How many units you have in there?' It doesn't matter a lot how many units there are in there in terms of the overall value of what's in the cart".
Apple iPhone unit sales may not be growing, but its strategy to boost prices is working. Predictably, no one seemed to care that iPhone revenue jumped 29% year over year. In third place on the revenue chart come the Mac computers, bringing in a decent $7.41 billion from 5.3 million units sold, while 9.7 million iPads chipped in with a "mere" $4 billion. The iPhone XS, meanwhile, starts at $999, while the iPhone XS Max starts at $1,099. But the average selling price of iPhones was $793, well above analyst estimates of $750.78, according to FactSet. Raymond James analysts said in a statement: "While the company believes units are a less relevant metric, we strongly disagree - particularly since we believe iPhone units will begin to decline y/y as a result of higher average selling prices".
The company released new iPhones in September, and upgraded iPads and Macs were introduced earlier this week. "We set September quarter revenue records for iPhone and Wearables and all-time quarterly records for Services and Mac", said Luca Maestri, Apple's CFO in a statement accompanying the results. It's a bet that consumers will continue to pay up for access to the company's specialized and tightly integrated hardware and software.
Apple sold more than 46.8 million iPhone handsets in the last three months. With a starting price of $749, it's expected to be a popular holiday gift, luring owners of older iPhones to upgrade. At market close on Thursday, Apple shares had been up more than 25 percent for the year - supported by purchases by Warren Buffett and a $100 billion share buy-back program - while the Nasdaq Composite Index is almost flat for the year. It's also the central hub for connecting the other devices and using services.
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The Apple Services division hit $10 billion in the quarter, a record for the company. The company is working on digital newspaper subscriptions and original video content for next year.
For the current quarter Apple reported earnings of $2.91 per share on revenue of $62.9 billion, beating analyst estimates of earnings per share of $2.78 on $61.57 billion in revenue. They later settled at $207.81, about 6.5 per cent below their previous close.
He added: "While last night's "Houdini-like metrics move" was a stunner, our core bullish thesis on Apple remains unchanged despite the noise this morning". Apple's resilience was all the more impressive considering the company is exposed to China at a time of escalating trade tension with the U.S.
The tech giant yesterday warned shareholders that festive sales could fall below expectations, even as it recorded double-digit growth for the fifth consecutive quarter. "The Street will find this a tough pill to swallow this morning as the transparency of the Cupertino story takes a major dent given that tracking iPhone units has become habitual to any investor that has closely followed the Apple story for the last decade+ and is critical to the thesis".