Apple’s ever-improving quarterly results are starting to develop an air of relentlessness, at least where the iPhone is concerned.
The Cupertino company's smartphone looks unstoppable. And as its latest financial figures show, it appears the iPhone's domination will reach new heights by the end of the year.
The scale of the iPhone’s success can be seen simply in the number of units shifted in the three months to September 26th.
Apple sold 48 million iPhones in that time, up from 39 million in the same period last year. Consider that the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus didn’t even go on sale until September 25th and that’s even more impressive.
The summer period is traditionally when things slow down. It’s why Samsung decided to pull the launch of its Galaxy S6 Edge Plus forward, desperate as it was to steal some of the limelight (not to mention sales) from its biggest rival.
A fat lot of good it seems to have done it, as Apple’s deathless march continues unimpeded.
While Apple hasn’t projected how many iPhones it expects to sell between October and December this year, it has forecast that revenue will grow to $77.5 billion for the quarter.
That compares with revenue of $51.5 billion for the most recent quarter, a record for the company during that period.
Considering the iPhone made up almost 70% of all Apple’s pre–Christmas revenue in 2014, we can expect it to enjoy massive success this year.
Last year’s pre–Christmas numbers were the biggest ever recorded by a public company, with over 74.5 million iPhones sold.
Analysts have told Fortune they expect Apple to beat that number this year, with some even claiming it’ll break the 80 million mark.
That’s staggering given that this year’s iPhone is an iterative ‘S’ update from last year's model, or a ‘tock’ year as insiders call it.
The boom is likely to be down to the fact that Apple put the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus on sale in China at the same time as Europe and the United States.
The question is whether it can sustain the success that saw it shift 13 million units when those devices first went on sale.
Of course, the iPhone’s success does have a down side for Apple. And that's that the larger screen smartphones appear to be gobbling up iPad sales, which continue to slide.
But with the amount of money coming in, it’s unlikely Tim Cook and co will care that much.
For rivals, Apple’s results must make grim reading. And if it’s doing this well in a period when things are supposed to be quiet, the thought of how its results will look when they’re next reported in January must terrify the likes of Samsung.