Apple's fiscal second quarter for 2015 was another hit, with the company reporting record revenues for any January to March period. The iPhone was the big driver here as Apple sold 61.17 million handsets, with many of those sales in China as expected.
On the investor's conference call Monday afternoon, Apple CEO Tim Cook highlighted the sales growth in China, but also pointed out two additional data points leading iPhone sales growing 55 percent from the year ago period.
"There's a higher rate of switchers than we've seen in previous iPhone cycles. And we continue to see a reasonable percentage of first time buyers, particularly in emerging markets. The revenue from these was up 58 percent, year over year, in the quarter."
Indeed, when Apple debuted iOS 8 and larger iPhones, I suggested some Android owners might switch because they chose their current devices largely for two reasons: Screen sizes Apple didn't offer and the ease way you can share data between apps in Android.
The latest iOS software added similar sharing features, along with widgets and third-party keyboards, while the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus finally gave buyers a big screen iPhone. Cook noted that out of the total, active iPhone user base, 20 percent have upgraded to the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, so there's "some headroom" for plenty of upgraders in the future.
Apple's iPad sales are down -- possibly having peaked some time ago -- but Cook is still upbeat about the category.
"The iPad is seeing some cannibalization on both sides from iPhone and Mac. However, I'm a big believer in the iPad as a major player in the enterprise. And the first time buyer rates are still impressive: 40 percent in the U.S. and 70 percent in China. We wouldn't have these numbers if the market were saturated."
Helping to bolster the company's enterprise belief in its tablet, were the results of a Changewave survey shared on the conference call. Of the companies surveyed that had planned to buy a tablet in the next six months, 77 percent of the participants said they were leaning towards iPads. Cook noted the IBM partnership for iPad apps and said Apple is working with two dozen other enterprise service providers.
When it came time to talk about the Apple Watch, Cook was tight-lipped with actual figures, not sharing any pre-sales or sales data compared to the estimated sales.
Instead, he pointed to the "overwhelmingly positive" feedback from those customers that have their Apple Watch. It appears that like any first product in a category, Cook and company are enduring some learning pains.
"Demand is greater than supply. We're working hard to remedy that and we made progress over last week or so. We were able to deliver more watches than we anticipated. Sometime in late June we could begin to sell the Apple Watch in additional countries. It's hard to gauge when you don't have the product in stores."
One Apple Watch aspect Cook was happy to tout, however, was in regards to apps for the smartwatch.
He said Apple had an internal goal to launch the watch with more apps than the iPad had at launch. Back in 2010, there were roughly 1,000 apps for the iPad when the product arrived. Apple Watch already has 3,500 apps so regardless of the sales data, margins and supply chain challenges, Apple already met one of its goals with the Apple Watch.