iPhone and Mac sales are way up from the start of the pandemic

Chris Velazco
·Senior Editor, Mobile
·3-min read

Apple is still riding high on the tails of a blockbuster quarter, according to a new earnings statement released today. Over the past three months, the company recorded a total of $89.6 billion in revenue — nearly $48 billion of which came courtesy of iPhone sales — and set another quarterly record in the process.

"We are proud of our March quarter performance, which included revenue records in each of our geographic segments and strong double-digit growth in each of our product categories, driving our installed base of active devices to an all-time high,” said Apple CFO Luca Maestri in a statement.

Unsurprisingly, today’s results couldn’t be more different than what the company reported this time last year. CEO Tim Cook noted prior to earnings day that the company would miss its previously issued revenue guidance, and nodded to COVID-19’s “unprecedented global impact” in Apple’s official earnings press release. (Q2 2020 ended on March 28th, after dozens of states and multiple countries issued sweeping stay-at-home orders.) The company still reported 1 percent year-over-year revenue growth back then, but Apple’s recent performance suggests a return to business as usual — or something like it — in Cupertino.

As mentioned, iPhone sales accounted for more than half of the company’s overall revenue this quarter — that works out a 66 percent lift in sales since this time last year. Demand almost certainly fueled by Apple’s line of 5G-friendly iPhone 12 devices, and while we’re dying to know how specific models like the iPhone 12 mini performed, it’s generally starting to look like the big upgrade cycle Wall Street has been clamoring for is finally here. 

Surprisingly, Mac sales hit a high watermark this quarter too. The company’s computers netted it $9.1 billion in revenue, which represents yet another all-time record for Apple. We repeat: Apple made more from Mac sales over the last three months than it did during 2020’s back-to-school season and its absolute monster of a holiday quarter. We’re expecting Apple’s top brass to offer some insight around why Mac sales shot through the roof this quarter, but it seems a safe bet that positive buzz around the company’s new M1-powered notebooks and lingering pandemic uncertainty prompted people to invest in their PCs.

The growth didn't end there either. iPad sales swelled from $4.4 billion in the year-ago quarter to $7.8 billion this time, and while momentum has slowed somewhat for Apple's wearables, home and accessories division, it still managed to generate more revenue than the company's tablets did. Meanwhile, Apple's crucial services business — which includes Cupertino's many subscription services — hit another all-time high with $16.9 billion in revenue.

While Apple has seemingly adapted to pandemic-era business rather well, the company is facing what may prove to be an even more profound challenge: heightened scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers around the world. Just yesterday, Reuters reported that Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service planned to fine Apple $12 million because it “abused its dominant position in the iOS distribution market” to create an unfair advantage for its own software. (Apple has said it will appeal the FAS’s decision.) Meanwhile, the Financial Times notes that the European Commission is close to filing antitrust charges against Apple as well, stemming from a 2019 complaint from Spotify about the sizable cut the company takes out of developers’ app revenue. 

Closer to home, Apple is gearing up for a protracted antitrust battle against Epic, which sued the company in 2020, and stood accused of creating restrictions on developers that amounted to “an abusive power grab” during a recent Senate hearing.