Apple Reaps Benefit From Soaring Pandemic Sales

Firm finishes 2020 with its most profitable ever quarter, thanks to soaring pandemic sales of iPhones, iPads and Macbooks

Apple made a profit of nearly $29 billion in the final three months of 2020, thanks to strong demand for its first ever 5G-equipped iPhone, as well strong demand for its Macbook and iPad portfolio.

Apple has managed to record an astonishingly strong financial performance, despite the Coronavirus pandemic that continues to rage around the world, and the closure of many of its stores globally.

It should be noted the final three months of the year are typically the most profitable for Apple, as it incorporates Christmas holiday sales and newly released devices.

Strong performance

The financial results will make for very pleasant reading for CEO Tim Cook.

For the first quarter ending 26 December 2020, Apple posted a net profit of $28.7 billion (£21 billion), up from a profit of $22.2 billion (£16.3bn) in the same year-ago quarter.

Revenues rose to an all time record of $111.4 billion (£81.6bn), from $91.8 billion (£67.3bn) for the final three months of 2019.

“This quarter for Apple wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless and innovative work of every Apple team member worldwide,” said Cook. “We’re gratified by the enthusiastic customer response to the unmatched line of cutting-edge products that we delivered across a historic holiday season.”

“We are also focused on how we can help the communities we’re a part of build back strongly and equitably, through efforts like our Racial Equity and Justice Initiative as well as our multi-year commitment to invest $350 billion throughout the United States,” Cook added.

Cook added that the results could have been even better if not for the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced Apple to temporarily close stores around the world.

China growth

Reuters reported that during the past quarter, Apple had also seen a 57 percent rise in sales in China, with overall sales there rising to $21.31 billion.

“We had two of the top three selling smartphones in urban China,” Cook told Reuters in an interview, adding that “upgraders in particular set an all-time record in China.”

Global sales of iPhones in the past quarter were $65.60 billion and beat a record set three years ago.

And Cook told Reuters that for the first time Apple now has an active installed base of 1.65 billion devices, compared with 1.5 billion devices a year ago.

Cook also reportedly said Apple now has an installed base of more than 1 billion iPhones, an increase over the 900 million the company most recently disclosed in 2019.

Mac sales meanwhile hit expectations at $8.68 billion, while iPad revenue was $8.44 billion and the services business, which includes its new Apple One bundle of television, music and cloud storage services, posted $15.76 billion in revenue.

Apple’s wearables and accessories segment, which includes the Apple Watch and AirPods product lines, made $12.97 billion in revenue.