“Unlike any other major consumer electronics company, Apple has long detailed quarterly unit sales along with revenue figures for its major product categories. This initially helped investors get a sense of how many buyers Apple was attracting with its Macs, and later began to reveal to investors how iPod and then iPhone were reaching entirely new audiences,” Daniel Eran Dilger writes for AppleInsider. “Here’s a look at why that’s now changing in Apple’s Fiscal 2019.”
“Analysts and journalists have clearly benefitted from Apple’s official reporting of unit sales. However, they have also often gotten hung up on a series of wrong conclusions they arrived at incorrectly (and periodically maliciously) as they attempted to use Apple’s own unit figures against the company,” Dilger writes. “One example of a wrong conclusion drawn from Apple’s extremely detailed reporting of unit sales comes from Japan, which appeared to experience a 3 percent drop in net sales and a 14 percent drop in Mac unit sales in Fiscal 2004. However, this alarming takeaway failed to note that Apple had opened its first retail store outside of the U.S. in Japan in 2003. All of Apple’s sales through its own retail stores were accounted as units and revenues of Retail, rather than being credited to a regional Operating Segment. So while revenue and units in Japan appeared to be falling, the reality was that they were growing.”
“On the topic of unit sales reporting, Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook additionally stated in the conference call that “our installed base is growing at double-digit, and that’s probably a much more significant metric for us from an ecosystem point of view and the customer loyalty, et cetera… The second thing 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,'” Dilger writes. “Apple isn’t focused on volumes of units sold, but rather volumes of customers who are ‘sold’ on Apple.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: In fiscal year 2018, Apple’s revenue grew over $36 billion to $265.6 billion. For the current quarter, Apple has guided for revenue between $89 billion and $93 billion, a new all-time record. (That’s revenue of roughly $1 billion — with a “B” — per day.)
When analysts learn to see without the unit share blinders Apple has just removed, hopefully their eyes won’t pop out of their heads when they finally see those huge numbers and realize how very much more is to come.
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