Apple announces its quarterly results tonight. And while iPhone sales are expected to be well up on previous months, it’s widely believed that Cupertino will also reveal a drop in profits for the first time in nine years.
These are worrying times for Apple, as the smartphone domination it’s enjoyed for the best part of six years is finally challenged by a series of amazing new devices.
But what will we hear tonight when Apple reveals how it’s done in the last three months? These five things are nailed on.
1 Bullish talk about Android
Apple will never admit it, but Android has had it backed into a corner for well over a year now.
When execs, including Tim Cook, start talking about the results tonight, you can bet there’ll be some trash talk about their biggest rival and why it’s not in as strong a position as Apple.
2 A tacit admission of an iPhone mini
There’s no way Apple will actually admit in public that it’s working on an iPhone mini.
But it will be asked about such a device and you can be certain its coded response will only help fuel the fire surrounding the much-anticipated device.
They might not say it’s an area that interests them, rather offer a few subtle words about building the iPhone brand.
3 No iPad mini numbers
Apple isn’t in the habit of breaking down sales of its products and it’s not about to start with the iPad mini.
Instead, expect these figures to be co-opted into the wider iPad stats, giving rise to plenty of questions about whether the smaller device is cannibalising the full scale, Retina Display-packing model.
4 Maps and their ever-improving looks
Apple is done apologising for its Maps debacle. Now it’s all about getting on the front foot and releasing ever better updates to try and convince punters to switch from Google’s peerless iOS mapping app.
Expect Cook and co to talk up how Maps has improved in recent weeks and why it should no longer be beaten over the head for its failings.
5 The sheer number of apps
Apple’s news that 40 billion apps had been downloaded on iOS, with half of them in 2012, was a smart way to deflect attention from rival launches during this month’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
If profits are down and the heat is on, then this will be a fall back position for Apple execs. They’ll parrot this line in the hope that any bad news will be quickly passed over.