Appleviews – 05th May 2023
The results are in
Apple yesterday announced the Q2 fiscal results – and they were better than anticipated.
Year-on-year they actually managed to sell more iPhones than the previous year which was far from a foregone conclusion. Where Wall Street had been predicting a 4% dip in iPhone sales, they actually rose by 2%. Putting some numbers on it, they managed to sell $51.3 billion worth of iPhones in the period.
The iPhone remain massively important to Apple’s financials and still represents more than half of their top-line profit. And it’s thanks to those phone sales their total revenue was also up by 2% to $94.8 billion. Although the total revenue was better than Wall Street had been thinking, it was 3% down compared to the previous year.
“We are pleased to report an all-time record in Services and a March quarter record for iPhone despite the challenging macroeconomic environment and to have our installed base of active devices reached an all-time high. We continue to invest for the long term and lead with our values, including making major progress toward building carbon-neutral products and supply chains by 2030.”
Apple didn’t get it all their own way though with Mac, iPad & wearables all taking double-digit dips. Services continued to serve the company well with a revenue of $20.9 billion which represented a 5% year-on-year growth.
In general, although the figures were slightly better than forecast it was a fairly quiet period for them and Apple CEO Tim Cook said to expect fairly similar numbers for the upcoming June quarter.
I’ll post the full report on my website.
Apple & AI
As is now expected, after the company announces their fiscal report they take questions from reporters.
In yesterday’s earnings call, those questions turned to Artificial Intelligence (AI). The questions were pertinent bearing in mind the imminent release of their mixed reality headset at June’s WWDC event.
Cook admitted artificial intelligence’s potential is “very interesting,” but also noted that there are a “number of issues that need to be sorted out with the technology” and that it is “very important to be deliberate and thoughtful in regards to how artificial intelligence is used”.
With regards to Apple not utilising AI quickly enough, he pointed out that they were already using it in features such as Fall Detection, Crash Detection, and the ECG app on the Apple Watch.
Any further integration though will be added on a “very thoughtful basis” Cook added.
Still bucking the trend
I’ve written a few times about how Apple remains steadfast in not following the tech trend of 2023 by not making mass layoffs.
That continues to be the plan moving forwards Tim Cook yesterday confirmed. In an interview with CNBC, he said he viewed mass redundancies as a “last resort” and “not something the company is considering right now.”
No to solid state
We had been expecting solid-state buttons to replace the physical ones on this year’s iPhone 15 Pro, but those plans now appear to have been scuppered.
One of Apple’s suppliers, Cirrus Logic seemed to reveal it in their shareholder’s letter.
“A new product that we mentioned in previous shareholder letters as being scheduled for introduction this fall is no longer expected to come to market as planned. As we have limited visibility into our customer’s future plans for this product at this time, we are removing the revenue associated with this component from our internal model.”
Reading between the lines analysts believe those comments likely referred to iPhone 15 and the plans to use solid-state buttons. The change of fortune was predicted last month by Ming-Chi Kuo when he said the pro models would no longer have the haptic feedback solid-state buttons.
Another Apple analyst, Jeff Pu thinks we will eventually get solid-state buttons on iPhone but not until next year and iPhone 16.
State of the union
As you’ll probably know, a few Apple retail stores have now become unionised much to the annoyance of Apple.
They have had to deal with disputes in the background but this week a rather unusual request was made to the company from the Maryland store. Along with the more standard demands for more time off and better pay and conditions, they have also made a demand for tips too!
They have requested that customers be able to tip employees either 3% or 5% on transactions in-store. This comes alongside a suggested 10% increase in salaries, more bereavement leave and a change to overtime policies.
The tipping suggestion is not universally approved though with some staff fearing that this unusual request might make negotiations even more difficult and shift the focus away from more critical changes.
More from the Morning Show
The excellent Morning Show was the star when Apple TV+ was launched in 2018.
I have watched both seasons so far and was glad to hear that a third season is due on screen later this year. Well, now, months before that third season even airs, a fourth season is in the bank too.
With both Jennifer Aniston & Reese Witherspoon’s contracts up at the end of the third season Apple acted quickly to secure both actors who also executive produce the show. Not only has Apple signed them both for the fourth season, but also it seems a fifth is on the cards too!
Additions to the cast for season three include Jon Hamm & Stephen Fry.
Over and out
Apple will issue its updated obsolete products list worldwide on May 31 and making their way to that list will be the first-gen iPad Air and the glorious Thunderbolt Display.
Obsolete products, in Apple’s eyes at least are classified as being those that were last distributed for sale more than seven years ago. Once on the list, they will no longer be eligible for repairs or other hardware services at Apple Stores or Apple Authorised Service Providers.
With both the Thunderbolt Display and iPad Air being discontinued in 2016 they now fall in line to join that list.
Another day another lawsuit
This week in the UK consumer ‘champion’ Justin Gutmann filed a $2 billion mass lawsuit against Apple for throttling iPhones.
He claims that the tech company limited performance on certain models to hide battery defects. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of iPhone users in the UK and claims that Apple deliberately limited performance on certain models by “surreptitiously” installing a power management tool in a software update, to cover up battery defects.
Gutmann this week asked the tribunal to certify the case as a class action and requested permission for it to go to trial in which he is seeking £1.6 billion in damages plus interest.
The lawyer representing Apple, David Wolfson, said in court filings that Gutmann’s lawsuit effectively alleges that “not all batteries could deliver the peak power demanded in all circumstances at all times, which is true for all battery-powered devices.”
Apple has asked the London tribunal to block the lawsuit.
Are you up to date?
Firmware updates are now available for all models of AirPods, the MagSafe charger and Beats headphones as well.
Their firmware updates are an oddity as there seems no official way to install them and no option to manually install them.
AirPods 2 and 3 should now be running Firmware 5E135, AirPods Pro 1 and 2 Firmware 5E135, and AirPods Max should now be on Firmware 5E135. PowerBeats Pro are on Firmware 5B66 while Beats Fit Pro should be on Firmware 5B66. An up-to-date MagSafe charger should be running Firmware 258.0.
The best way I’ve found to update your AirPods at least, is to keep them near to your iPhone and have them in the case charging for the over-the-air updates to happen…at some point! Apple suggests your iPhone or iPad is also running the latest software.
You can now also pop into your local Apple Retail store to get these firmware updates installed. To check for yourself, with AirPods connected go to Settings and select your pair of AirPods. Go to the very bottom and check next to the version.
The iPad lineup is already staggeringly confusing and bloated if you ask me.
Well, if a rumour I saw this week on Twitter is to be believed, that situation is about to get even more confusing. It claimed that a new iPad Pro model is coming with a 14.1-inch display and that it will be running an M3 Pro processor!
The regular M3 is thought to be getting an 8-core CPU, so it’s natural to assume the M3 Pro would have even more. How a thin portable iPad would deal with the heat dissipation from a Pro chip I don’t quite get though.
He claims that the M3 Pro could also allow the 14.1-inch iPad Pro to support multiple ultra-high-resolution displays for users to extend their workspace.
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