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On the surface of it, Apple's earnings were a relief - record revenue & profits, flatish iPhone sales but revenue growth & a 13-week quarter to boot. And frankly the quarter could have been a lot worse. But it also - given the opportunity provided - could have been better, so on-balance overall (IMO) it seems the quarter is a little mixed. And note, Apple is fighting the law of large numbers & with having to pay a nominal tax on overseas cash, but then getting to use the tax, future prospects could be reasonably bright in the short-medium term, depending on how Apple intends to use the cash. But first, lets take a look at the various parts of the business (using Six Colors graphs for reference) ...

1) iPhone - Slight unit sales decline of 1%, with revenue growth of 13% in a quarter that was a week shorter. iPhone unit pricing up over $100, all good news. And yet it came in a quarter in which the 10th anniversary iPhone with a new form factor came out, just before the prime Christmas buying season. So IMO it's difficult to draw any real conclusions, iPhone sales weren't so strong that you'd consider the quarter a 'home run.' On the plus side you have that the quarter was a week shorter, sales were more or less in-line & via the two tier strategy revenue grew strongly, on the negative side the quarter included the 10th anniversary iPhone & Christmas which negates somewhat the 13 vs. 14 week comparison (you need to get your gift before or around Christmas day - which is always in the quarter.) The premium & 'even more premium' strategy seems to be working well-ish though, and much like the iPad growth in the last quarter, to determine lasting impact we'll need to wait for next quarter. There's *some* evidence of peak iPhone though (take a look at how flat the 4-quarter moving average iPhone charts are.)

2) iPad - 1% unit growth, 6% revenue growth in a 13 vs. 14 week quarter. Normalised that be around 7% unit growth & 13% revenue, a declining growth trend in units from the two prior quarters and numbers down 50%ish from their peak (revenue is surprisingly strong in that context.) And yet the iPad sells a lot of units for a computer (it's around 1/4-1/3 of total computers sold at circa 50% of the PC laptop industry in units.) And they last a long time, but so do laptops these days so it's hard to know if they last much longer (the average PC appears to last more than six years.) So overall, iPad growth appears hard to come by, it's still a worthwhile business but appears to need a reasonable amount of attention from Apple or it could tip into decline again. A bit like the iPhone it seems to be mixed news.

3) Macs - A 5% decline in units & revenue (ish), following a very strong prior quarter. Allowing for 13 vs. 14 weeks, & the very strong prior quarter the Mac performance is probably better than it looks. 4-quarter moving averages are down a bit which is worrying, but probably expected given the shorter sales quarter. Further declines next quarter could be a worry though - also a bit mixed news.

4) Other - Up a lot in revenue 3.6Bn vs. 3.2Bn, double digit growth in a shorter quarter. No real detail on where the growth is, but both the Apple Watch & the Airpods seem to be selling well. Apple TV is maybe the questionable piece here, but carry on Apple as this seems to be a nice performance.

5) Services - Flat which is a surprise given Apple Music has been doing well. Services are probably a victim of the 13 vs. 14 week quarter as there is no real single date driving service revenue - one would almost expect service revenue to jump after Christmas day as people begin using those gifts, so probably not too great a surprise. If it doesn't grow next quarter then there could be an issue, but for now it doesn't seem too big a concern.

The big news is that Apple will get to use all that overseas cash - AAPL have to pay the tax & then it's available for deployment. How Apple intends to use all that money is probably a more interesting question right (in term of share price growth) than how the business is doing? Overall though the business is holding it's own, so any sensible use for the cash should boost the business value / share.
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