Why is not Apple going to publish more how many iPhones it sells?


Yesterday took place a call, on the financial results of Apple in the fiscal fourth quarter of 2018, in which the least important were precisely the numbers. On the contrary, the bombing of the day was the announcement that the firm will not report on how many iPhones, iPads or Macs it sells from now on. What is the reason for this decision?

Luca Maestri, Apple’s financial director, has been in charge of releasing the bomb. During the call on Thursday, the manager of the company confirmed that Apple would not give figures on the units sold of iPhones, iPads and Macs, a decision that will be effective as of next quarter. Instead, the company will focus solely on reporting the generated revenue .

Goodbye to the data of units sold

This decision comes after discovering numbers not as favorable as they would like. In the fiscal results of the fourth quarter it can be verified that the income generated by the iPhone went up despite the fact that the sales of units did not meet the expectations of Wall Street. It is not the first time that occurs in the accounts of Apple: the firm is still making money (a lot) with your phone, but not because it sells more units but because they are more expensive.

Why is not Apple going to publish more how many iPhones it sells?

The omission of these data will undoubtedly make it more difficult to determine how things are going for Apple. Until now the sales of iPhone units have been a very critical and concrete metric that both investors and professionals in the sector used to draw a profile of successes and failures of the company.

Apple, however, defends itself by reasoning that the number of devices sold is no longer a good indication of the company’s financial health because at the moment they are selling devices at very different prices . This is what Maestri says:

Our product ranges for the main categories of the catalog have been extended over time and, therefore, a sales unit is less relevant to us at this time compared to the past, because we have a much higher dispersion of sales prices. wide. […] So the sales unit per se becomes less relevant.

The truth is that this quarter Apple has distributed 46.9 million iPhones compared to 46.7 million the previous year , a practically minimal variation that, however, has meant for the company an increase in revenue of 29% . This is, of course, due to the average sale price of the iPhone that has gone up compared to last year.

Maestri has also thrown fumes out remembering that other direct competitors of the company, such as Google or Samsung , also do not give specific figures of units sold, but that does not comfort us more in the absence of information that is coming.

Until Tim Cook has wanted to defend this position, knowing the commotion that was going to mount, using an analogy at least curious:

This is a bit like if you went to the supermarket and you came with your cart to the cashier and [they ask you] “how many units are you there? […] It does not matter much how many units there are if you consider the general value of what is in the car.

We do not remove Cook’s reason in this metaphor about the shopping cart, but it is still an exercise that hides information from those of us who dedicate ourselves to this. No matter how well the company works-in the end it’s what matters in a company, to be profitable- we can no longer know how the iPhone XS Max works against the iPhone XS or, for example, if people this Christmas have preferred bet on what they say is the manzanero phone for the masses , the iPhone XR .

It is thus lost a very important value for the industry that has even had an impact on the stock market , with a fall of 3% in shares after knowing the decision – there was a previous decline of 4% after knowing the results themselves.

Seeing the sales trend that the iPhone is taking in the market, Apple has decided to cut to the chase and stop offering data that could place it in a worse place facing the gallery in a while. Jim Suva, Citigroup analyst, gives voice to a thought that many have now: “Some people may fear that this now means that the iPhone units are going to start being negative year after year because it’s easy to talk about good things and not show details of things that are not so good. ” Unfortunately, from now on we are going to be left with the doubt .

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