Apple Posts First Annual Sales Decline In 15 Year As iPhone And Mac Sales Slump

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Apple is still raking in money hand over fist, but the company’s financial performance is no longer setting records quarter after quarter. But even a weakened Apple is still a force to be reckoned with — the company posted Q4 revenue of $46.9 billion and net income of $9 billion. This compared to $51.5 billion and $11.1 billion respectively for the same period last year. Gross margins fell slightly to 38 percent for the quarter compared to 39.9 percent a year ago.

Annual sales fell 7.7 percent from $233.7 billion in 2015 to $215.6 billion in 2016. This is the first time in 15 years that Apple has posted a decline in annual sales. It’s not hard, however, to see why Apple’s revenue is down. iPhone sales declined year-over-year from 48 million to 45.5 million, iPad sales declined 6 percent to 9.3 million and Macs were down 14 percent to 4.9 million.

With that being said, Apple CEO Tim Cook isn’t worried. “Our strong September quarter results cap a very successful fiscal 2016 for Apple,” said Cook. “We’re thrilled with the customer response to iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and Apple Watch Series 2, as well as the incredible momentum of our Services business, where revenue grew 24 percent to set another all-time record.”

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Looking forward to the always fruitful holiday shopping season (Apple’s fiscal Q1 2017), the company has issued the following guidance:

  • revenue between $76 billion and $78 billion
  • gross margin between 38 percent and 38.5 percent
  • operating expenses between $6.9 billion and $7 billion
  • other income/(expense) of $400 million
  • tax rate of 26 percent

Apple is hoping that iPhone numbers rebound with brisk iPhone 7 sales during the closing months of 2016, and Mac numbers should also improve given that MacBook Pros, iMacs, and MacBook Airs are expected to be refreshed at an event being held tomorrow.