As usual, the really exciting numbers will be released next quarter, after the holidays subside and we're left taking stock of everything that happened. Are people flocking to embrace Apple's premium phones? Or will the XR's more mainstream appeal win out? Apple doesn't ever break down iPhone sales by model, but we'll be able to make some educated guesses based on the iPhone's average selling price in three months.
Meanwhile, Apple sold fewer iPads in this quarter compared to this time last year: think 9.69 million, down from 10.3 million. That doesn't sound great (because it isn't, really), but this number doesn't really mean much given the context of the past few days. With the upcoming launch of its new (and impressive) iPad Pros, Apple is going into the holiday quarter with what might just be its strongest tablet line-up ever. The bigger question is whether people will actually buy these things: the hardware on offer is substantially better than previous generations, but there's no avoiding the fact that the new Pros are pricey. (Almost prohibitively so, depending on who you ask.)
Mac sales are also down 2 percent year-over-year, but again, who couldn't see that coming? People still have their qualms about the company's line of MacBook Pros, and it's only now -- with the advent of a new Air and improved Mac minis -- that Apple has put together a more solid mix of desktops and notebook. Even with that dip in sales though, Apple made more money off its computers than in any other Q4 in the company's history, with CFO Luca Maestri pointing to key growth in markets like Latin America. And beyond that, Cook also noted some significant gains in its wearables business: sales grew 50 percent in the past year, thanks in part to the updated (and much improved) Apple Watch Series 4.
Here's the thing to keep in mind about Apple: over the last several quarters, we've seen it transform from a company that focused extremely heavily on hardware sales to one that's trying to squeeze more residual value out of those devices. The last time we saw Apple drop earnings, it reported its best third quarter of all time, and that was thanks in large part to its services revenue -- the money it rakes in thanks to iCloud, Apple Music and Apple Pay (among other things). While the company's iPhone sales stayed relatively flat year-over-year, the supplemental business those phones and tablets fuel is booming. This time around, Apple reported just about $10 billion in services revenue, marking a new all-time high for the category and further proving that it's much more than just a hardware maker.
As usual, Apple isn't a fan of dropping these numbers out into the wild without commentary, we'll update this story with any interesting tidbits from its customary earnings call.