People Can't Decide If Apple's Quarterly Earnings Were Disappointing or Extremely Solid

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Jan. 28 2014 1:39 PM

People Can't Decide How They Feel About Apple's Quarterly Earnings

Even when Apple breaks records analysts can still argue that things are bleak.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The circus only comes to town once a year, but a quarterly earnings frenzy is never more than a few months away. And when it comes to Apple, the coverage is always going to be especially frenzied. But after yesterday's call, it's been hard to sort through all the noise to find cohesive takeaways.

Lily Hay Newman Lily Hay Newman

Lily Hay Newman is lead blogger for Future Tense.

For this quarter, Apple had revenue of $57.6 billion and a profit of $13.1 billion compared with $54.5 billion and $13.1 billion, respectively, for the same quarter last year. So that sounds good, right?


And Apple hawked the most iPhones it's ever sold in one quarter, 51 million compared with 47.8 million in the same quarter last year. Great, drinks all around.

But wait. Analysts were forecasting iPhone sales of 56 to 57 million units, making that 51 million figure look a little bit smaller. And Tim Cook admitted on the earnings call that the proportion of 5Ss to 5Cs sold was "different than we thought." And selling the iPhone in China through China Mobile didn't allow the iPhone to capture more marketshare, which investors had hoped it would.

Oh yeah, and Apple shares were down in after-hours trading and this morning because of the news. So things are bleak?

Apple is forecasting $42 billion to $44 billion in revenue for the current quarter which won't really be an increase and could be a slight decrease compared to the $43.6 billion of the same quarter last year. But there were record iPhone and iPad sales, right? And Apple's Mac sales rates rose almost 20 percent compared to the same time last year. Macs are actually growing their marketshare. So, wait, things are okay?


But yes. As LivingSocial's CEO points out:

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Lily Hay Newman is lead blogger for Future Tense.



The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson Resigns

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Homeland Is Good Again! For Now.


Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.


How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

The U.S. Has a New Problem in Syria: The Moderate Rebels Feel Like We’ve Betrayed Them

We Need to Talk: A Terrible Name for a Good Sports Show by and About Women

Trending News Channel
Oct. 1 2014 1:25 PM Japanese Cheerleader Robots Balance and Roll Around on Balls
  News & Politics
Oct. 1 2014 4:15 PM The Trials of White Boy Rick A Detroit crime legend, the FBI, and the ugliness of the war on drugs.
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
The Eye
Oct. 1 2014 1:04 PM An Architectural Crusade Against the Tyranny of Straight Lines
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 3:02 PM The Best Show of the Summer Is Getting a Second Season
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 4:46 PM Ebola Is No Measles. That’s a Good Thing. Comparing this virus to scourges of the past gives us hope that we can slow it down.
  Health & Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.