Apple's Q4 2014 earnings are out, and the data provided gives us an insight into how well the company performed over the last quarter relative to historical data.
Let's start with Apple's flagship product, the iPhone.
Apple sold 39.3 million iPhones, up 12 percent compared to the previous quarter and up 16 percent on the year-ago quarter. Revenues from the iPhone were up 20 percent compared to the last quarter and up 21 percent on the year-ago quarter.
This makes it the iPhone's third best quarter to date for the device, and beats the sales that analysts were expecting by a good margin, who had pegged sales to be in the region of 37.5 million.
Moving on to the iPad, Apple sold 12.31 million tablets – iPads and iPad mini tablets – down 7 percent on the previous quarter and down 13 percent on the year-ago quarter. In terms of sales, this is the worst quarter for the iPad since Q2 12.
iPad revenues are down 10 percent compared to the previous quarter, and down 14 percent compared to the year-ago quarter.
Analysts were expecting iPad sales in the region of 13.4 million, so the actual figure falls significantly short.
Since Apple doesn't break down sales by type of iPad, we can't tell how much of an effect that the iPad mini is having on the full-sized, full-priced tablet.
Next up, Mac. Apple sold 5.5 million units, making it the strongest quarter to date for the Mac. Compared to the previous quarter sales are up 25 percent, and up 21 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. Revenues are also up 20 and 18 percent, respectively.
Mac revenues exceeded that of the iPad, at $6.6 billion, compared to $5.3 billion for the iPad.
When it comes to the iPod, it seems the bottom has fallen out of the sales. Apple only managed to shift 2.6 million units, which is down 10 percent from the previous quarter and down 24 percent from the year-ago quarter.
In terms of sales, this is the worst quarter for the iPod since Q4 04, which was when the iPod was on the rise, and the first quarter where Apple managed to shift more than a million iPod units.
Not coincidentally, this is the last quarter where Apple will report iPod sales as a separate product. From the next quarter the iPod will be bundled under the "Other" category that accessories.
"Our fiscal 2014 was one for the record books, including the biggest iPhone launch ever with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus," said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. "With amazing innovations in our new iPhones, iPads and Macs, as well as iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, we are heading into the holidays with Apple's strongest product lineup ever. We are also incredibly excited about Apple Watch and other great products and services in the pipeline for 2015."
"Our strong business performance drove EPS growth of 20 percent and a record $13.3 billion in cash flow from operations in the September quarter," said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. "We continued to execute aggressively against our capital return program, spending over $20 billion in the quarter and bringing cumulative returns to $94 billion."
Gross margins were 38 percent compared to 37 percent in the year-ago quarter, and international sales accounted for 60 percent of the quarter’s revenue.