7 months ago • 2 mins
What’s going on here?
Apple’s toiling and tinkering led to expectation-beating results last quarter.
What does this mean?
Apple’s iPhone sales, the company’s pride and joy, staged a remarkable comeback last quarter, outshining a shrinking smartphone market and growing revenue compared to the same quarter last year. That rebound balanced out less-than-stellar sales of Macs and iPads – and while the ever-lucrative services segment (including Apple TV, Music, and iCloud) may not have exceeded expectations, it still managed to chalk up sales growth of 5%. All in all, Apple put in a solid performance, with folks using more of its products than ever before. And with a $90 billion share buyback program thrown into the mix, it’s no surprise relieved investors initially sent the stock up.
Why should I care?
The bigger picture: The Apple of my AI.
It’s AI-mania in the tech world these days, with heavyweights like Microsoft, Alphabet, and Amazon going all-in on uber-trendy artificial intelligence. And while Apple – the biggest of them all – seems to be playing it cool, it’s actually weaving a little AI magic into its own offerings, spicing up user experience and rejigging product use cases. There’s also plenty of AI under the hood of Apple’s self-driving car project – and the tech world’s abuzz with reports it’s working on an AI-powered health coach too.
For markets: Big Apple.
This has been a strong earnings season for Big Tech, with all the usual suspects smashing through analysts’ expectations. And with their cash-rich balance sheets also luring investors in a so-called “flight to safety”, last week Apple and Microsoft made up a bigger proportion of the S&P 500 than ever before. In fact, around half of the total gains clocked up by the S&P 500 this year have been down to the two giants. And while that’s impressive, it’s risky too: any tumble in those titans’ values could rock the index to its core.
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