A day after it reported almost $75 billion in quarterly revenues for three months ending December 31, 2015, Apple stock was down by 6.6 percent. Wall Street didn’t like Apple’s downward revision of its sales estimates for the first 90 days of 2016. Wall Street is never satisfied with Apple and trying to make the crazy trading alogrithims happy is like trying to reason with a drunken sailor: amusing for a while, but in the end you are going to get pissed on.
“There are a lot of economies around the world that are in recession,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s chief financial officer. “We’re seeing extreme conditions unlike anything we’ve experienced before just about everywhere we look,” said Tim Cook in his talk with the analysts. And yet, Apple thinks it can rake in between $50-to-$53 billion during first 90 days of 2016, off by $2 billion from its previous estimates. I wonder what havoc it unleashes on its competitors in the overall smartphone market.
Let’s recap 2015 from an iPhone perspective. The company sold 232 million iPhones during calendar year 2015 versus 193 million in 2014 and 154 million units in 2013. Apple’s net profits have zoomed along with rising iPhone sales, as we pointed out in my prevous post, Apple and its iPhone Money Machine. (Also, see iPhone, the behemoth and All About That iPhone 6+.) Apple made more than $54 billion in profits during calendar year 2015: which is actually twice the amount of sales Apple had during the (fiscal, not calendar) year the iPhone launched: 2007.
Earlier research from analyst firm Trendforce placed Apple right behind Samsung in terms of smartphone sales – 227 million versus 320 million for Samsung. Of the total 1.23 billion smartphones sold in 2015, Trendforce estimated that 539 million units came from Chinese vendors that include names like Xiaomi, Huawei, TCL, Lenovo and ZTE.
Just to get an idea of expectations and reality, Apple has an iPhone installed base of about 530 million and that should only go up, despite the projected 7 percent decline in shipments. Of course, we have no use what magic iPhone 7 will bring.