Apple posts first annual sales decline in 15 years — charts

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Apple on Tuesday said its annual revenues declined for the first time since 2001, as the world’s biggest company reported that iPhone sales fell for the third quarter in a row.

fastFT rounds up Apple’s results in charts.

Sales decline

Apple’s sales dropped by 7.7 per cent in fiscal 2016, the first fall in 15 years and a sharp reversal from the 27.9 per cent growth rate in 2015. Still, Apple struck an upbeat tone on the current quarter, which is generally its strongest, saying that it expects revenues to rise by at least 1 per cent.

iPhone woes

Apple’s iPhone sales dropped for the third straight quarter. The company said it sold 45.5m iPhones in the fiscal fourth quarter, down 5 per cent from the previous year.

California-based Apple has struggled with saturation in developed markets and stiff competition from companies like China’s Huawei in emerging markets. Still, Apple said it has seen strong demand for the iPhone 7 that was released in September, and many analysts expect more substantial upgrades to come next year for the tenth anniversary of the smartphone.

Services shine

Apple has been working to grow its services business — which includes Apple Music, virtual wallet Apple Pay and repair programme AppleCare — and it showed in the fiscal fourth quarter. Revenue in that division jumped by 24 per cent to $6.3bn.

China weakness

Apple’s revenues in China skidded by almost a third in the fiscal fourth quarter amid stronger competition and a slowdown in the Asian country’s rate of economic growth. But chief financial officer Luca Maestri defended the fall, noting that the strong performance of the iPhone 6 two years ago made for a “very difficult” comparison.

“We feel confident that this minus 30 [per cent] will improve, it’s improving already in the December quarter,” he added.

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