“One thing we can say for sure about Apple after it reported some of its worst earnings in years: Management did an epic job of managing expectations,” Chris O’Brien writes for VentureBeat.

“Yesterday, I wondered how investors and Apple watchers would react when the company reported a sharp slowdown in its business. Indeed, the company said revenues were down 15 percent from the same period a year ago, while sales of its most important product, the iPhone, plunged 23 percent,” O’Brien writes. “And yet, this was slightly less terrible than Wall Street expected. Investors went wild and drove the stock up 6.8 percent in after hours trading. Yes, Apple offered slightly lower guidance than expected for the fourth quarter that ends in September, but investors were willing to overlook that.”

“Now, imagine for a moment if Microsoft had reported a 15 percent drop in revenue and 23 percent drop in its leading product. Think investors would be so forgiving? That’s what I mean about Apple management doing a masterful job of setting the bar low,” O’Brien writes. “Still, beyond the decreased sales of all of its major products, there are still some worrisome numbers lurking underneath that top line bad news. But there are also some rainbows and unicorns in there.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: He’s certainly correct that “it’s hard to detect that the new Apple TV is having much impact.” The thing is under-baked (still) and really cries out for 4K-capability and a real Apple service that delivers an affordable bundle of popular networks. It’s also likely correct to glean from yesterday’s report that iPad has turned a corner (at least in terms of ASP if not units). When iOS 10 arrives and doesn’t install on nearly half of all iPads currently in use, the iPad upgrade parade will finally commence and unit sales will show growth again!