The Christmas iPhone shortage cost Apple $6 billion

Apple’s financial results for the last quarter of 2022 are worse than expected, with revenue down 5% year-over-year. The fault of the iPhone 14 Pro, not found until January.

Usually, the publication of Apple’s financial results in the first quarter of a new year is accompanied by the mention “all-time high”. The Californian brand, impervious to crises, stacks the billions of dollars and has a habit of defying the predictions of analysts. The last three months of 2022 unfortunately break this tradition, Apple had a worse quarter than a year ago, we learned on February 2, 2023.

With a turnover of 117.2 billion dollars, for 30 billion profits, Apple is far from being to be pitied. However, the comparison with last year’s record year is bound to hurt. At the beginning of 2022, Apple announced a turnover of 123.9 billion dollars, for 34.6 billion in profits. That’s 5.5% and 12.4% more than this year, which should cause Apple stock to drop slightly when Wall Street opens on January 3.

The iPhone, solely responsible?

At the beginning of November, Apple had surprised by announcing by press release to be a victim of the closing of factories in China. The brand, in an unusual behavior, alerted its investors to the risk of not having enough iPhones at Christmas. A few days later, on November 17, his prediction turned out to be correct. After this date, it was impossible to have an iPhone 14 Pro delivered in time for Christmas.

Did the iPhone shortage play a role? If Apple no longer communicates on its sales volume, the company details in its financial results the turnover of each of its categories. We can see that iPhones brought in $65.8 billion this quarter, compared to $71.6 billion a year ago. This discrepancy of $5.8 billion almost corresponds to the $6.7 billion not earned during this fiscal year. The iPhone is the main culprit for the decline in Apple’s sales, but it is impossible to say whether the shortage is the only responsible. The smartphone market is currently undergoing a crisis.

In the other categories, there are ups and downs. The Mac and accessories pay less, but the iPads and services make up for it. The late launch of the new MacBook Pros may explain the $3 billion drop in this category. If this lead is correct, then Apple’s next results will see an increase in Mac sales.

By comparing the results of 2022 with those of previous years, we see that Apple remains very far from a crisis. Its January 2023 results are the second best in its history, just behind those of last year. The iPhone, despite the shortage, also signs its second best performance.

2 billion active Apple devices

In addition to congratulating itself on the good health of its services (whose prices have recently increased), Apple took advantage of the announcement of its financial results to announce the crossing of a symbolic threshold. There are 2 billion active Apple devices worldwide, which includes all of its product categories. That’s 200 million more than a year ago.


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