Apple remains one of the better fiscal performers within the tech industry, and its latest financials offered some warm respite to investors worried over the troubling economic outlook.

Apple topped Wall Street’s profit and revenue targets and remains a hugely profitable organisation – it made close to $100 billion in profit alone in past 12 months.

But the tech giant did warn that the holiday quarter (October to December) may be not so rosy, predicting that revenue growth would fall below 8 percent, and it also cited the problems caused by the strong US dollar.

Apple iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus

Financial performance

Apple’s shares declined a modest 3 percent down to $145.75 in overnight trading, but the firm is still valued at a whopping $2.3 trillion.

That said, Apple had briefly breached the $3 trillion market valuation mark in January this year, when its shares reached a record high of $182.88.

Apple’s fiscal performance thus remains closely watched bell-weather metric for the tech sector.

So how did Apple perform?

For its fourth quarter ending 24 September 2022, Apple posted a net profit of $20.7bn, only slightly up from a net profit of $20.5bn in the same year-ago quarter.

Q4 revenues meanwhile surged 8 percent to $90.1bn, from $83.4bn a year ago.

For the full year, Apple posted a total net profit of $99.8bn, up from a net profit of $94.7bn for its previous full year.

Annual revenue rose 8 percent to $394bn, up from $365.8bn in the previous 12 month period.

“This quarter’s results reflect Apple’s commitment to our customers, to the pursuit of innovation, and to leaving the world better than we found it,” said CEO Tim Cook.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook. Image credit: Apple

“As we head into the holiday season with our most powerful lineup ever, we are leading with our values in every action we take and every decision we make,” said Cook. “We are deeply committed to protecting the environment, to securing user privacy, to strengthening accessibility, and to creating products and services that can unlock humanity’s full creative potential.”

Star performers

Digging down into the results, it seems that Apple has been held up by the strong performance of its Macbook portfolio, whilst its main money maker (the iPhone) stumbled somewhat.

That said, although iPhone sales were not as strong as some analysts had expected, they were still a record for the September quarter – bringing in $42bn of Apple’s posted $90.1bn quarterly revenue.

Mac sales were up at $11.5 billion, far head of analyst estimates of $9.36 billion.

But iPad sales were down from $7.2bn from $8.2bn the previous year.

Wearables sales grew to $9.6 in the fourth quarter, while services also rose to $19.2bn.

Confusing lineup?

Apple traditionally enjoys a strong holiday quarterly performance, as it benefits from holiday gift buying, as well as the upgrade sales from the new iPhone models it typically announces in September and ships in October.

However to some, this year’s Apple’s iPhone 14 handset looks to be already out of date, after the European Union this week insisted that a USB-C charging port is required from 2024, which an Apple executive said it would have to reluctantly comply with.

The fact that iPhone 14 is shipping with a lightning port, may persuade some consumers to delay their handset upgrade until the iPhone 15 with a possible USB-C, so they are not left with a handset that has an out-of-date charging port.

And Apple has also been criticised by some observers and reviewers for its recently revamped iPad portfolio, which has been described as ‘confusing’ by some of the politer reviewers.

Apple iPad 2022

Due to (in some cases dramatic prices increases outside the US), a number of the iPad models now overlap confusingly.

And some desirable tablet features have either been ignored (i.e. no second generation Apple pencil support on the now not so budget friendly iPad 10th generation) or left off entirely (no landscape camera on the revamped iPad Pro, despite it appearing on the base iPad).

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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