Apple: Just not good enough

“After the bell on Tuesday, Apple reported its fiscal second quarter results for the period ending April 1st,” Bill Maurer writes for Seeking Alpha. “The first thing that stands out is that iPhone unit sales came in at 50.76 million, about a million and a half units short of Street estimates. As I’ve detailed in many recent articles, it is certainly possible that consumers hold back on purchases as they wait for this year’s new phone(s) that are supposed to be major upgrades.”

“With iPhone units being a little light for Q2, I was not surprised that Apple’s guidance was below expectations. The company is forecasting revenues of $43.5 billion to $45.5 billion, and the top end of the range is just below the Street’s current $45.57 billion average,” Maurer writes. “The iPad did a bit better than expected, more than 8.9 million units versus an expectation for around 8.6 million. Mac sales came in at 4.19 million, a little light compared to estimates of 4.26 million. However, both product lines saw increases to their average selling price, with Mac ASPs up almost 10% over last year’s period, leading to a 14% rise in Mac revenues for the period.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook
“Additionally, Apple’s services segment missed revenue forecasts by almost $100 million, while still showing 17.5% growth, but that was more than offset by ‘other products’ that came in around $650 million ahead of estimates,” Maurer writes. “On the bottom line, Apple had a nice 8 cent beat, primarily driven by lower-than-expected operating expenses, a lower-than-expected tax rate, and more “other income” than expected. EPS was up 20 cents over the prior year period, with about half due to better net income and the rest from the buyback.”

“In the end, Apple had a decent report on Tuesday, but it wasn’t good enough to keep the past year’s rally going,” Maurer writes. “While the company had an impressive bottom line beat, iPhone unit sales were light and the rest of the business couldn’t make up the difference.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This is what not having enough new/updated products ready to sell gets you.

Cook’s Apple continues to look lazy and unprepared. Luckily for him, the money train Steve Jobs built keeps chugging along, masking the issues that longtime observers of the company can see, and have been seeing for quite some time, with crystal clarity. Would that Tim Cook had such crystalline focus on Apple’s core businesses instead of ancillary endeavors.

Apple needed/needs new iPad Pro models, new desktop Macs, AirPods in sufficient supply, and a 4K Apple TV. They needed them last fall in time for Christmas 2016. Failing that, they at least needed them in Q217. That much is painfully obvious. That they still don’t have any of them in May 2017 is evidence of blatant mismanagement that should worry even the most casual Apple investor/fan.

mismanagement

SEE ALSO:
Apple Park: New campus incomplete as Apple’s move in deadline passes – April 30, 2017
It’s not that hard for Apple to design a new Mac Pro – April 20, 2017
Why is Apple’s next-gen Mac Pro taking so long? – April 18, 2017
Laggard, trailing Apple needs to catch up HP’s workstation designs – April 7, 2017
Apple’s desperate Mac Pro damage control message hints at a confused, divided company – April 6, 2017
Who has taken over at Apple? – April 5, 2017
Apple’s embarrassing Mac Pro mea culpa – April 4, 2017
Mac Pro: Why did it take Apple so long to wake up? – April 4, 2017
Apple sorry for what happened with the Mac Pro over the last 3+ years – namely, nothing – April 4, 2017
Apple’s apparent antipathy towards the Mac prompts calls for macOS licensing – March 27, 2017
Attention, Tim Cook! Apple isn’t firing on all cylinders and you need to fix it – January 4, 2017
No, Apple, do not simplify, get better – December 23, 2016
How Tim Cook’s Apple alienated Mac loyalists – December 20, 2016
Apple’s not very good, really quite poor 2016 – December 19, 2016
Apple’s software has been anything but ‘magical’ lately – December 19, 2016
Lazy Apple. It’s not hard to imagine Steve Jobs asking, ‘What have you been doing for the last four years?’ – December 9, 2016
AirPods: MIA for the holidays; delayed product damages Apple’s credibility, stokes customer frustration – December 9, 2016
Apple may have finally gotten too big for its unusual corporate structure – November 28, 2016
Apple has no idea what they’re doing in the TV space, and it’s embarrassing – November 3, 2016
Apple’s disgracefully outdated, utterly mismanaged Mac lineup is killing sales – October 13, 2016
Apple takes its eye off the ball: Why users are complaining about Apple’s software – February 9, 2016
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015
​Apple’s dirty little secret: Sucky software – why Apple’s entire UX/UI team needs to be fired – November 19, 2015
What Steve Jobs gave Apple that Tim Cook cannot – November 18, 2015
New Apple Pencil stock begins arriving at some U.S. Apple Retail Stores – November 17, 2015
Apple’s new iPad Pro debuts with forced reboots, missing Apple Pencils – November 16, 2015
Apple’s perplexingly incomplete launch of the iPad Pro – November 16, 2015
Apple’s major problem is Tim Cook – November 16, 2015
At Apple, it seems as if no one’s minding the store – November 13, 2015
Publishers underwhelmed with Apple News app – November 13, 2015
Apple’s joyless iPad Pro launch: WTF are the Apple Pencils and Smart Keyboards? (4-5 weeks away) – November 12, 2015
Apple’s best days are behind it or something – November 7, 2015
Apple TV 4 is a beta product and, if you bought one, you’re an unpaid beta tester – November 5, 2015
Apple Watch has arrived for just 22 percent of preorder customers – April 28, 2015
Tim Cook’s mea culpa: iMac launch should have been postponed – April 24, 2013
Obviously, Apple’s autumn iMac launch was badly botched – March 19, 2013
Apple still seeing strong Mac sales growth as iMac supply constraints ease – March 18, 2013
The curious case of Tim Cook, operations genius, and the missing iMacs – February 4, 2013
Within hours of availability, shipping times for 27-inch iMac slip to 3-4 weeks – November 30, 2012
Tim Cook open letter: We fell short with new Maps app; we are extremely sorry – September 28, 2012
With obtuse iPad 2 launch, Apple fails to delight 49,000 customers per day – March 21, 2011

47 Comments

    1. Not sure I agree. Real companies don’t panic and ship products just to fill the pipe. Real companies develop a strategy, plan for the long run and ship the right products when they are ready. They invest in a way that advances them far down the road to gain and sustain competitive advantages, rather than react to everything the competition is doing. Given that Apple hasn’t shown much of their hand, yet, with the new wave of investments that catapults them ahead further down the road than the competition, its premature to call this mismanagement. It could be, but there’s way too many rumors to believe that this isn’t just Apple being patient and strategic.

      1. No one wants Apple to ship products that aren’t ready.

        The mismanagement happens when you don’t have products ready to ship when everybody else does.

      2. No one is saying ship half baked products. But speed is power. That’s why small companies outmaneuver industry leading giants all along. The small company innovates at a speed that the big elephant can’t keep up with. Steve built Apple to be huge and act as if it’s a start up. Apple is still a great company under Tim Cook. But the trend worries me. The ability to create amazing products in quantity that ship in a timely fashion is what it’s all about. And that includes constant improvements to existing products while the big surprises are being worked on. All I’m saying is the balance is off, trending toward the unattainable “perfection” at the expense of regular updates and surprises.

        1. In fairness, small companies in the hardware space (and I will include MS in that category) can be more nimble because they don’t have to have nearly the same number of units available for sale on the day of a product launch. The planning/logistics/supply chain issues are much more complicated for Apple.

          Having said that, I’m less than impressed with the product line over the past 2 years. There is no excuse for not updating basic components such as processors or graphics betweeen major product refresh cycles

      3. Real companies don’t sell 3-5 year old products at a premium price.
        Real companies don’t update their products for 3-5 years, while their competition updates yearly.
        Real companies don’t make products unrepairable and force you to buy the premium priced products again.
        Tim Cooke is a self proclaimed guru in supply chain handling and he’s screwing that up.

      4. Sorry to say you know nothing about a real company or business strategy.

        Personally, I don’t apologize for lack of products at launch, lack of product updates, longer than historically normal shipping dates, eliminating ports in the holy name of thin design, selling Pro computers several years old at premium prices, gutting pro software or eliminating it altogether, form and function being replaced by fashion — to name a few.

        You need Rocky to talk some sense into you. Lost in the trees, you are unable to see the forest … 🤔

    2. I wish Apple loved desktop Macs, A10-powered iPads, 4K Apple TVs and product in sufficient quantities more than they love overwrought retail stores, distracting and hubristic headquarters (monuments to self), solar installations, forest preservation, conflict mineral mitigation, diversity for diversity’s sake, and marching in gay pride parades.

      Would that Tim Cook had such crystalline focus on Apple’s core businesses instead of ancillary endeavors. – MacDailyNews

    3. There’s an old saying most (nearly all) commenters here, Bill Maurer and MDN should consider taking to heart.

      “It’s better to remain silent, and have people think you stupid, than to open your mouth and prove it.”

      I missed Apple’s revenue report by 0.5% and nailed EPS at $2.10. Proof is in the fact that I posted my estimates, several times, here and elsewhere through the quarter. On Estimate.com I ranked 23 out of 652 pro and amateur analysts. How did I do this? I correctly calculated the impact to Chinese sales resulting from a 5% devaluation of the Chinese Yuan against the US Dollar. Without that devaluation Apple’s results would have much, much better.

      Bottom lines is that, contrary to the erroneous sentiment being espoused here, Apple’s “disappointing” results were not caused by poorly received products. They were caused when those products were suddenly 5% more expensive in Apple’s second largest market, at the same time the economy in that market continues to weaken.

      1. I agree with your assessment however Cook is not a very good communicator, and seems he and his inner circle is risk adverse probably to protect future wealth, very predictable situation, not all deputies make great generals…

  1. No Jobs = No new vision, ideas and products.

    This is what happens when you have a clueless Cook living off the vapors of Steve Jobs. Cook turned Apple into a one product company.

  2. They don’t need “NEW” products, then need faster refresh cycle for existing products. Why did it take them 1 1/2 – 2 years for mac book pro updates and now 3+ years for Mac Pro updates … there was a time that these were updated annually. Same with iPads … why is the iPad Mini now coming up on 2 years old? And the recent release of the iPad Air 2 is NOT a new/refreshed product … its last years tech at a cheaper price .. i.e. price to match year old gear ….

    When IPad 2 was released, iPad 1 was still sold … but for far less. This is the pace of technology and Apple is not keeping up … and its not just in Hardware.

    Why does it take them so long to update Siri?

    they have all this cash … hire more people if that is what it takes …

  3. They’re in a loop of : wait, we have to get this right, now. We have to get all products align for a massive upgrade cycle release. Wait! We have to get this right, now. Are we all set? No, that new thing is not ready? Ok. Lets wait further. Ok! We have to get this right, now. Are we good now for our massive products upgrade cycle… No? Not yet? …

  4. I remember when I got my first iPhone on June 19- 2009 . Apple needs to started shipping products earlier like they used to. This last quarter BS isn’t working. You can’t have one delivery and think business will be ok. We need new ipads now- nEw iMacs now – new products now.

  5. Apple needs a new product. And that product is a serious CEO who understands how to maintain product leadership, how to lead a tech company, how to market (see Jeff Bezos example) and how to keep personal politics out of corporate decision making.

  6. I’ve would contributed $169 to Apple if they would have had the Airpods ready to ship, now, and not 6 weeks in the future. I love Apple but these well known and well discussed delays are ridiculous.

  7. I think all the focus on moving into Apple Park is a tremendous distraction, and would be for myself also. What Apple exec wouldn’t be distracted? It’s like living on a new planet.
    Hopefully, by years end, Cook will have settled in and deliver a watch that will appeal to non-watch wearers instead of 40yr old men, and all the R&D spending will actually produce something consumers actually need. Steve Jobs genius was being able to walk in the moccasins of the average Joe consumer using a product. Remember how many times Jobs said “shipping next week”. Cook has been late alot and the Apple watch is visually design underwhelming. I think he has done well overall, but needs to deliver bigtime. Apple is Apple because of design, and so far Cook has done well in many areas, but to date hasn’t shown innovative design Apple is know for.

      1. Apple park will ultimately end up proving to be the biggest waste of money ever if Apple doesn’t get their act together they won’t have or need enough employees to fill the park. Apple is becoming the big typical corporation

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