iPhone sales fall by a fifth after new Apple smartphones delayed

James Titcomb
·2 min read
Apple chief executive Tim Cook - Getty Images
Apple chief executive Tim Cook - Getty Images

Sales of Apple’s iPhone fell by 21pc in the last three months after the company delayed the release of its latest handsets, although the tech giant’s total sales grew thanks to record revenues from its Mac computers.

The company posted revenues of $64.7bn (£50bn) in the three months to the end of September, slightly higher than $64bn a year ago. However, those of the iPhone, its most successful product, dropped from $33.4bn to $26.4bn.

Apple typically starts selling its new iPhones in September but this year’s iPhone 12 devices did not go on sale until last week, due to production slowdowns caused by the pandemic. The delay meant a particularly pronounced drop in China, since the iPhone makes up the majority of Apple’s sales in the country. Revenue from China fell by 29pc.

Apple’s sales have grown despite economic stress caused by the virus, and became the first US company to hit a $2 trillion valuation in August. Sales of its Mac computers and iPads have been boosted by more people working from home and streaming video during the pandemic, despite the company being forced to close many stores.

Apple q3 sales by division
Apple q3 sales by division

Apple fell below the $2 trillion threshold on Thursday night as shares dropped by almost 4pc following the results, after the company said it would not give financial forecasts for the next quarter, historically its most profitable.

Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said that initial reaction to the iPhone 12, the first iPhones to support 5G networks, had been positive. “I look at the initial data points that we've got on the iPhone 12 and the 12 Pro. We're off to a great start,” he said.

Sales of the Mac and iPad, which have taken a back seat to the iPhone in recent years, grew by 29pc and 46pc respectively, to $9bn and $6.8bn. It was an all-time high for Mac sales, after a refresh of Apple’s MacBook range that replaced the controversial “butterfly” keyboard, which had been prone to sticking.

Apple’s digital services business and sales of wearables and accessories also grew. Mr Cook said the recently-announced Apple One bundle, which combines iCloud, music streaming and other services, would be launched on Friday.

Profits were down from $13.7bn to $12.7bn in the quarter.

Telegraph Tech 100 2020: see the full list
Telegraph Tech 100 2020: see the full list