Apple hits 2 billion devices in use, but it's not all good news

While the Apple install base hits new highs, a combination of pressures hit iPhone revenue.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
Image: Getty Images

Apple now has an installed base of over two billion active devices, but its revenues for the fiscal first quarter of 2023 were down 5% year on year to $117 billion. 

The quarter includes the three months to December 31, 2022, covering the key holiday season that didn't arrive for any smartphone vendors this year. For Apple, the quarter was marked by lengthy disruptions at its key Foxconn iPhone assembly plant in China, a strong US dollar, and weak demand for consumers amid inflation and fear of recession. Apple in November warned there would be impact on iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max shipments during the holiday season.  

Various iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS devices might be in the hands of two billion people, and services revenue did increase, but that was not enough to offset the fall in product sales. 

iPhone revenue was down about 8% from a year ago to $65.78 billion. Mac sales declined 28.7% to $7.74 billion. iPad sales however increased about 30% to $9.4 billion, while services grew 6.4% from $19.52 billion to $20.77 billion.   

Apple CEO Tim Cook described the quarter as a "challenging environment" but noted iPhone revenue would have been flat were it not for currency exchange headwinds.

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"As we all continue to navigate a challenging environment, we are proud to have our best lineup of products and services ever, and as always, we remain focused on the long term and are leading with our values in everything we do," said Cook. "During the December quarter, we achieved a major milestone and are excited to report that we now have more than 2 billion active devices as part of our growing installed base."

Analyst IDC reported Q4 2022 smartphone shipments saw the largest decline on record. Shipments across the industry fell 18.3% year on year to 300 million units. Apple, which gained marketshare due to the iPhone 14, saw its shipments decline by 14.9% year on year, from 85 million to 72.3 million, according to the analyst's calculations. 

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