Apple’s Annual Profits Fall for First Time in 15 Years as iPhone Sales Decline

Washington, – Apple has reported its first decline in annual sales and profit in 15 years.

Apple, which had bounced back from near bankruptcy in 1997 to become the world’s most valuable company today, told investors on Tuesday night that it had sold $215.6 billion worth of iPhones, Watches, Mac computers and other products in the year to 24 September.

That works out as an 8% decrease on Apple’s record $233.7 billion of sales it collected in the previous year. The decline in sales hit the company’s profits, which fell 14% to $45.7 billion.

It is the first time Apple’s annual sales or profits have declined since 2001, and some analysts are concerned that the world may have reached “peak Apple”, meaning nearly everyone who wants (and can afford) an iPhone or other products already has one.

Sales declined by 9% to $46.85 billion in the three months to 24 September, the third consecutive quarterly fall. The sales fall hit the company’s quarterly profits which came in at $9 billion, a 19% decline on the same period a year earlier.

The fall in sales was mostly down to declining sales of the iPhone, which is by far Apple’s most important product and accounts for two-thirds of all sales. Apple sold 45.5 million iPhones in the quarter, a 5% drop on last year.

Despite the decline in sales and profits, Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said: “Our strong September quarter results cap a very successful fiscal 2016 for Apple. We’re thrilled with the customer response to iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and Apple Watch Series 2”.

The iPhone, which first launched in June 2007, has transformed the telecoms industry but Apple is now facing more intense competition from the likes of Google, which last week released its first branded smartphone, the Pixel, and upstart rivals offering much cheaper smartphone devices in key markets such as China.

The iPhone 7, the latest model, went on sale on 16 September but the company has struggled with supply issues, meaning that most of the uplift from sales will come in the current quarter, which also includes Thanksgiving and Christmas. The current quarter’s sales are also likely to benefit from Samsung’s recall of the Galaxy Note 7, due to a fault that caused some devices to catch fire. Telecoms companies offered Note 7 customers the opportunity to trade in their phones for rival devices such as the iPhone.

Source: Qatar News Agency

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