All About That iPhone 6+

Because you know 
I’m all about that 6+ 
‘Bout that  6+, no Mini 
I’m all about that 6+ 
 ‘Bout that 6+, no Mini 
I’m all about that 6+  
‘Bout that 6+, no Mini 
I’m all about that 6+  
‘Bout that 6+ 

In early January I wrote a post called “iPhone, the behemoth.” In it I detailed a report by UBS Research that predicted that Apple could sell close to 67 million iPhones and that thanks to the brisk sales of the iPhone 6 and its big brother, the iPhone 6+, the company would rake in about $68 billion during the quarter. UBS expected iPhone revenues to be around $43.4 billion.

Many people were incredulous at those massive numbers. Some, including close friends, privately chided me and said that I was just straight up wrong. Well, Apple does have a way of proving believers right and nonbelievers wrong.

In an earnings release yesterday, Apple said it sold 74.5 million phones during the quarter — about 10 iPhones per second — and had total revenues of $74.6 billion. The iPhone revenues alone were $51.2 billion. The company made $18 billion in profit during the quarter, which was the highest profit in corporate history in the world. The iPhone was 69 percent of this quarter’s revenues, up 22 percent from the iPhone revenues it recorded in the fourth quarter of 2013.

AppleDec2014quarterUBS estimates that of the total, 22.34 million iPhone 6+ were sold during the quarter, bringing in about 30 percent of total iPhone revenues, or around $18.5 billion. I suspect the 6+ has been a huge hit in Asia, especially China, the single largest growth market for Apple. IPhone 6 sales were around 35.37 million, or about 48 percent of the total iPhones sold, and brought in $25.25 billion. The iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s are still selling well: about 12 percent of the total, or around 8.56 million devices. USB estimates that the 6+ has a high average selling price (ASP) of around $828 while the iPhone 6’s ASP is around $713.

If you want to see the impact of the iPhone 6+, look no further than iPad sales: about $9 billion during the quarter, which is down 22 percent, from $11.5 billion during the same quarter in 2013. The iPad as a percentage of overall Apple revenues was down to 12 percent from 20 percent a year ago. Apple saw an 18 percent year-over-year decline in iPad unit sales during the quarter. Of the total iPads sold during the quarter, 45 percent were iPad Minis, down from 49 percent during the fourth quarter of 2013. The iPad mini sales were about $4 billion during the quarter, down from about $5.7 billion a year ago. These numbers provide anecdotal evidence of my earlier contention that the iPhone 6+ is going to cannibalize the iPad mini. Not that there is anything wrong with that: Apple is perfectly okay with eating its old and rejuvenating itself with new products. Year-over-year quarterly iPod sales declined by almost half: 3.3 million units versus 6 million a year ago.

Bottom line: It looks like Apple is going to ride the iPhone wave for a while, perhaps right through the launch of the Apple Watch, which I suspect is going to provide the big lift. That said, I am not bullish on the watch, mostly because when I saw it, the software looked incomplete by a mile. It lacked that usual Apple software pop! I wish Apple had spent more time making Apple Pay realize its true potential, because it could change how we purchase and thus define a new era for the company.

Apple has set up seriously high expectations, and Wall Street is as moronic and illogical as ever, driven by momentum. It needs the Apple Watch to work flawlessly. I also fear the reliance on a single product line (the iPhone, that is), because it can be a bit dangerous for any company, even Apple. There are many challenges that are cropping up, especially in software and services, which are defraying the typical Apple experience. Even people within Apple have shared their frustration. I think Apple management cares, but for now it is busy riding the rocket called the iPhone!

 

A letter from Om

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