Apple records most profitable quarter ever as sales soar amid pandemic

Company announces sales for last three months of 2020 totalled $111.4bn, fueled largely by release of latest iPhones

Sign up for the Guardian’s First Thing newsletter.

Apple finished 2020 with its most profitable quarter ever as sales of its high end iPhones, tablets and laptops soared amid the pandemic.

The company announced that sales for the three months ending on 26 December 2020 totalled $111.4bn and it had made a profit of $28.7bn, 29% higher than the same period last year.

The holiday period is a crucial time for Apple, accounting for 30% of its sales, and 2020’s bumper quarter was boosted by strong sales of its latest iPhone.

The blowout results, stronger than Wall Street had expected, were fueled in large part by sales of the company’s latest iPhones. iPhone revenues were $65.6bn for the quarter, up 17% year-over-year.

“We’re gratified by the enthusiastic customer response to the unmatched line of cutting-edge products that we delivered across a historic holiday season,” Apple chief executive Tim Cook said in a statement.

The quarterly report was Apple’s first following the launch of its iPhone 12 mini, the iPhone 12, the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

But the company performed strongly across the board with its services division, which includes its App Store and licensing deals, delivering revenues of $15.76bn, up 24% year-over-year. Other products’ revenues, including the Apple Watch and home products, were up 29% at $12.97bn and Mac sales were up 21% at $8.68bn.

Cook said that the results could have been even better if not for the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced Apple to temporarily close some of its stores around the world.

“Taking the stores out of the equation, particularly for iPhones and wearables, there’s a drag on sales,” Cook told CNBC.

Apple’s record results followed record results from Microsoft on Monday, which recorded $40bn in sales for the last quarter. Facebook, too, announced better than expected results on Tuesday, with revenues of $28bn for the last quarter.

“Our December quarter business performance was fueled by double-digit growth in each product category, which drove all-time revenue records in each of our geographic segments and an all-time high for our installed base of active devices,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s chief financial officer.

Apple’s shares fell 2% in after-hours trading but have risen 84% over the past 12 months.


Dominic Rushe

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Apple posts record revenue thanks to holiday sales of iPhone 7
Revenue up 3% to $78.4m ending three quarters of decline but sales of iPhones slip 12% in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan

Dominic Rushe in New York

31, Jan, 2017 @10:10 PM

Article image
Apple's iPhone sales fall 17% in first quarter as flagship product struggles
Quarter marked another quarterly decline in profit and revenue as the company struggled to move beyond the iPhone

Dominic Rushe in New York

30, Apr, 2019 @9:11 PM

Article image
Apple delivers best-ever second quarter despite sales worries
With revenues of over $61bn, Apple beat its 2015 record in the quarterly report released Tuesday, but sales of its most valuable product are slowing

Dominic Rushe in New York

01, May, 2018 @10:08 PM

Article image
Jeff Bezos adds billions to his fortune as Amazon reports profit surge
Amazon’s share price soared over 4%, while Apple shares wobbled despite quarterly revenues, and Alphabet announced a loss

Dominic Rushe and Edward Helmore in New York

01, Feb, 2018 @10:42 PM

Article image
Has Apple really started to rot? | Nils Pratley on Saturday

Apple's recent results may have disappointed analysts, but surely it is too soon to declare the company is ex-growth

Nils Pratley

25, Jan, 2013 @7:01 PM

Article image
How Apple eclipsed Microsoft

Relentless innovation, ruthless efficiency and great products have helped Steve Jobs's company steal a march on its old rival, says Charles Arthur

Charles Arthur

19, Oct, 2011 @12:32 AM

Article image
Apple sales rise – but fail to soar

Weaker iPhone sales than expected prompt questions over release date of latest smartphone model

Charles Arthur, technology editor

18, Oct, 2011 @11:12 PM

Article image
Tim Cook's bonus pay is cut as Apple misses sales targets
CEO sees payout reduced by 15% as sales and revenue targets slip, although he still netted $135m in shares in 2016

Samuel Gibbs

06, Jan, 2017 @3:57 PM

Article image
Apple chief Tim Cook opts out of $75m dividend
Chief executive gives up dividend on shares he received for running the company during Steve Jobs' medical leaves. By Harry Dalton

Harry Dalton

25, May, 2012 @9:18 AM

Article image
Carl Icahn and Apple: flexing muscles after weighty gains
Chief executive Tim Cook comes under pressure after corporate activist's tweet sent shares rocketing

Sean Farrell

15, Aug, 2013 @7:55 PM