Apple Delivers Another Record Quarter

Posted on January 27, 2022 by Paul Thurrott in Apple with 38 Comments

Apple reported fourth-quarter 2021 revenues that were nearly two and a half times bigger than Microsoft’s. The firm earned a net income of $34.6 billion on record revenues of $124 billion in the quarter ending December 31.

“This quarter’s record results were made possible by our most innovative lineup of products and services ever,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said, before presumably cackling like a Bond villain. “We are gratified to see the response from customers around the world at a time when staying connected has never been more important.”

The iPhone was once again Apple’s biggest business, and by far, with $71.6 billion in revenues, up 9 percent year-over-year (YOY). So the iPhone now represents 58 percent of all Apple revenues. (And by comparison, Microsoft earned fewer revenues, $51.7 billion, in the same period than did just the iPhone.)

Services—Apple’s most profitable segment–was the second-largest of the firm’s business in the quarter, with revenues of $19.5 billion, up 24 percent YOY. The firm said it had 785 million paying subscribers globally across all services, up 27 percent year-over-year; but that figure includes Apple and third-party services, including subscriptions sold through the App Store.

The firm’s Wearables, Home, and Accessories business contributed another $14.7 billion in revenues, up 13.3 YOY. And the Mac delivered $10.85 billion in revenues, up 25 percent. Oddly, iPad revenues fell by 14 percent to $7.2 billion; the business earned $8.7 billion the year-ago quarter.

In a post-earnings conference call, Mr. Cook said that Apple’s supply chain issues were improving overall, but the iPad shortfall is partially attributed to Apple prioritizing other devices.

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Comments (38)

38 responses to “Apple Delivers Another Record Quarter”

  1. jchampeau

    "...before presumably cackling like a Bond villain." Priceless. Thanks for the belly laugh!

    • pecosbob04

      Really‽ It struck me as childish and churlish. I suppose though that childish and churlish can be funny under certain circumstances. And from a legal standpoint 'presumably' does confer plausible deniability.

  2. sofan

    ? So they can buy the whole Microsoft ?

  3. iantrem

    Yet, surprisingly, the vast majority of those profits were made in countries with the lowest tax rates.

    • xamzara

      Um, in lowest tax rate countries like USA, EU, Japan, China and UK? Those make up 90%+ of their business.

      For what it’s worth Apple is the biggest corporate taxpayer in the whole world.

      Probably between 15-20 billion USD for 2021. It’s all in their reports, go check it out.

  4. SvenJ

    Yup, Apple's in trouble if they don't get rid of the notch, put touch ID and headphone jacks back on iPhones, and get some better colors on the Pro devices. I don't know what they are thinking. People are just going to abandon them.

    • Truffles

      ...and the swappable battery. Only the brainwashed would buy an iPhone if it doesn't have a swappable battery.

    • nerdile

      Seems like there's still a lot of money ($71b a quarter) to be made on phones that don't meet your specifications.

  5. WaltC

    I couldn't care less what Apple does or doesn't do, as I own no products made by Apple and I won't buy Apple stock. It's been a lifestyle choice for the past 45 years...;) It also hasn't hurt Apple to coin a secret, back-door deal with the government of China, which in return has allowed Apple to take 30% of the Chinese markets (or, rather, the XI government has allowed Apple to take it)--has a lot to do with it, I'll wager. Or so they say. I want nothing to do with Apple. Ever.

    Again, Apple is a hardware company, Microsoft is a software company, and for some reason this is really hard for some people to parse. The companies play in much different markets because of that. Show me where Microsoft and Apple compete head to head with the same product in the same markets. I know, Ballmer tried to copy the iPhone and several other things and came close to bankrupting Microsoft--at least as close as I've ever seen it. Since Ballmer has been gone, things are looking up at Microsoft, imo.

  6. abdulla77

    As a user fully invested in the Apple ecosystem (own an iPhone 13 Pro, a 2019 MacBook Pro 16, iMac, Apple Watch, Apple TV), I still feel that Apple hasn't even scratched the surface yet.. sure, iPhones are literally taking over the world, but Windows PC's still and by far are the leading desktop/laptop platform globally. I still remember way back (pre-covid basically) when people were giving me strange looks and making jokes about having a Mac laptop at the office, where every laptop around me was a windows machine. I honestly still feel like Apple MacBooks/iMacs are the odd ones out and Apple may need to spend billions and take years to even get close to Microsoft's dominance in windows desktops/laptops. Changing ecosystems and Microsoft's software productivity leadership I feel are the reasons for this Apple switchover struggle. Unless Microsoft releases every inch of MS software feature on the Mac (and they're not by the way, Looks at Teams..), people will always see a good reason to stick it out with Windows PC.. and I haven't talked yet about Gaming on PC, where Microsoft and Windows PC's in general are leading the way, Windows PC GPU's are simply more powerful (Apple doesn't even stand a chance to the likes of Nvidia) .. I mean Apple's wealth is really an iPhone story. Period.

    • Saarek

      Apple could easily drop the pricing of their Mac’s and go for Market Share.

      But Apple only cares about profit share of any given category that they are in.

      I forget where I read this, but back in 2016 or 2017 Apple had something like 60% of all PC sales profit despite having less than 10% of market share.

  7. Donte

    The power of the consumer.

    Apple has almost zero percent of the Enterprise market and probably thaw same for government contracts (Military etc)

    In the US they dominate the smartphone market. It is getting harder and harder to find friends or co-workers that own Android phones. (I am an iPhone user)

    With a a house full of iPhone users we are naturally Apple Music subs and Apple TV + subs on our Apple TV’s. Each of us have a consumption pad or umm iPad and air pods oh and watches.

    It is kind of scary to be honest.

    • dstrauss

      It's a vicious cycle and before you know it you start to like the walled garden. Good thing they refuse to cooperate with MS and allow us to interconnect out iPhones and iPads with our Windows computers...

      • SvenJ

        I keep saying it is a gated community, not a walled garden. May look different depending on which side you are on. ;)

        • RobertJasiek

          At least Apple listens to the minor criticism and iPadOS 15 has removed another stone of the garden's wall: the webpage printing dialog no longer hides important features but provides visible access. However, Apple maintains the core structure of the walled garden. E.g., Safari local export / sharing of all booksmarks to one HTML file? Nope.

    • wright_is

      It has been a year of transition here. We started by throwing out our ageing (2014) Fire tablets and replacing them with an iPad mini and an Air.

      Then finally having enough with Google and Android, crippling the install to shut off Google services & tracking and various things not working as well as they could, we jumped to iPhones after the 13 launch.

      Then, finally having enough of being messed around by Microsoft, I binned Windows and put Linux on my main PC, but, because of increasing energy costs, I replaced it with a Mac mini, when I got my Christmas bonus.

      But, I'm hoping that we are now on a longer replacement cycle, at least on the phones, Amazon did a fair job on keeping the tablets updated, to be honest. I was going to replace my old desktop PC anyway with my Christmas money, so it just changed from a generic Windows PC to a Mac mini - which worked out about the same as the Ryzen 5700 I was looking at, but uses a fraction of the power; a major consideration here, as electricity prices have jumped between 35% and 60% depending upon supplier, so economical devices are the order of the day.

      • xamzara

        Just get the batteries of those phones replaced at authorised service after 2-3 years or so and they are good for 5+ years.

      • Donte

        While I have two Mac’s (A mini and a 16inch Mac book both M1) one I purchased and one work gave me, I still prefer Windows.

        I do not do any real kind of video work so the greatness of the M1 is lost on me. My 16 inch M1 Pro is no faster or last no longer on battery than the 16 inch Intel MacBook it replaced. The fans would occasionally kick in with the Intel MacBook while in clamshell mode using external monitors. But other than that it’s no better or worse.

        Overall I find Windows 11 way faster and more flexible than Mac OS. Applications just launch faster and are way more snappy. Especially Microsoft apps.

  8. RobertJasiek

    The greater the income the harder Apple tries to abandon its last unwanted customers. Since mid December 2021, iPadOS asks several times per day to accept the iCloud terms (see V.A, C, E) including Apple's unlimited access to the contents of all files of the user. Related pop-up windows occur during updates, on log-ins, at random times as Apple-ID password requests without revealing the purpose and at random times with Accept buttons so that accidental approval is a great risk.

    Direct iPadOS updates require accepting the iCloud terms. Now, it has become necessary to possess and use a macOS or Windows PC / iTunes to update iPadOS via the slow Lightning / USB 2.0 connection while rejecting the iCloud terms.

    In the case of a major iPadOS update, this process asks for acceptance of 1) iPadOS / Apple Pay / related terms in iTunes on the PC, then on the iPad asks for acceptance of 2) iCloud terms, 3) iPadOS / Apple Pay / related terms, 4) again iPadOS / Apple Pay / related terms, 5) again iCloud terms.

    As typical for Apple, one cannot permanently reject the iCloud terms but eventually only choose "Later". As a consequence, former useful red system notification numbers have become advertisement threats to accept the iCloud terms, join Apple Pay and directly update iPadOS while accepting the iCloud terms.

    iPadOS has become what Apple fans criticise of Windows in its default settings. While Windows can be tamed by deactivating unwanted messages / ads, such is impossible in iPadOS.

    Disgusting is the kindest word I can find.

    This is the way how Apple generates record earnings.

    • xamzara

      Long piece about self inflicted problems and then you say that this is how they generate all their profit?

      You are clearly not happy.

      Unhappy customers do not generate profits. They go away.

      Can you decline all MS and Google terms and keep using their services and products?

      (No, you can’t)

      • RobertJasiek

        "You are clearly not happy." (I ignore your message's other topics.)

        My iPad has always had a very good display ratio and tolerable reflectance. I have always been rather happy with the display. At the same time, i(Pad)OS has meant that a) serious software has been unavailable and only functionally light use has been possible at all and b) file (transfer) management has been initially an extreme pain and later a pain. So from a functional point of view, I have always been unhappy with the iPad's possibilities. This compromise between good display and very limited function had been clear to me before purchase of the iPad. Before and later, the alternative would have been the other compromise of a bad display and full functionality of Windows Pro. I have my Windows PC so get full functionality there. I chose the former compromise because the extra use everywhere else indoors and outdoors benifits more from a good display than the possibility of replacing my PC. This has been the state from 1995 - mid December 2021.

        In mid December 2021, the new factor of iCloud terms terror arose. Of course, I am unhappy about the now missing option of updating iPadOS with my iPad itself while rejecting the iCloud terms, while a decision and Apple's sudden actions remain entirely superfluous as I never use and never want to use the iCloud.

        And don't tell, it would be self-inflicted. It is inflicted by Apple's sudden actions and its "Later" instead of "Never" option. Apple fails to understand / admit that not all endconsumers want to go all in Apple just because they want to use some Apple device.

    • xamzara

      I’m not following.

      Why don’t you just accept the terms?

      iCloud terms aren’t any different to any other cloud service terms. MS and Google also need and want access to your files so that they do the CSAM scans etc.

      Apple wanted to do this in-device, if you use iCloud Photos and Drive, but internet started screaming because somehow doing it off the device against your unencrypted files is better.

      Apple Pay nag goes away by entering the setup and then declining.

      • RobertJasiek

        I do not use the iCloud for these reasons:

        • The iCloud terms self-grant Apple the alleged right to access the contents of all my local and cloud-global files and distribute it to any third persons in the world etc. Yes, this is exactly what the terms say. Threatened with up to three years of prison under German laws but Apple does not care (yet).
        • I appreciate (my) basic constitutional rights (to informational self-determination and to integrity and confidentiality of information-technical systems, i.e. computers, telecommunication, networks, clouds etc.), human rights, German and EU data protection / privacy rights and rights protecting against data crimes. I do not abandon my rights on the will of Apple.
        • I do not trust US or other non-EU servers and do not trust Apple to exclusively use German servers
        • US secret services and executives abuse anti-terrorism laws preferably against non-US citizens and can do so easily for servers and networks in the USA. They even (try to) access EU-based servers contrary to German and EU laws.
        • German law prohibits me from endangering privacy of customer data by naively using non-EU servers and networks. I might have to pay fines for storing customer data on US clouds.
        • iCloud can use Google or Microsoft servers, which I also do not trust / use for private files.

        I am sure there are German cloud providers whose terms abide by German and EU laws but I have not bothered to find out or use such, either.

        I want my files to be private and therefore local. Simple! I do not change my choice and reasons just because Apple, or whichever company, has its own plans. Access to my files is my choice - it is never Apple's choice.

        • edlin

          RobertJesiek - You have to pick your poison here. MS is all on board in sharing AI R&D with China, and that is Kilometers worse than what 'access' is available to the prying eye on the German servers. Or the Chinese Servers. Either way, you can step it up by using Boxcryptor for iCloud and Dropbox. Anyway, just a glass half full approach to your issues.

          Alternatively you could spin up a linux server and use high end encryption there for your access. I really don't know what you're protecting nor what your issues are but I could say - I don't care. In reality I only have <200GB of data that is helpful to my privacy and of that I want to keep 300MB off any cloud.

          If you want a solution, they are out there. If you want to find something to complain about, then solutions are pointless to a person like yourself.

          Just sayin....

        • Greg Green

          I don’t use iCloud and don’t have any of the problems you’ve got. No nagware at all.

          iMac notifications are a different story however.

        • GT Tecolotecreek

          Hey Robert, I have a simple solution to all your Apple issues: Don't buy Apple products.

          • RobertJasiek

            Right, as long as there is iCloud terms pressure, I do not buy Apple devices. In fact, I also futher delay the overdue battery replacement for my iPad in the hope of some acceptable Windows tablet (small display ratio, reduced reflectance) appearing this year. Apple's iPad earnings decline because they do not get my €109 for a battery;)

        • Donte

          Wow just wow. That is some serious Tin foil hat stuff there.

          I suggest you run, not walk over to your Internet connection and unplug it. Don’t use credit cards or any kind of smartphone either.

          • RobertJasiek

            One does not need to be extreme when simple rejecting of the iCloud terms and doing serious work on non-Apple devices are sufficient.

          • wright_is

            He is correct about the non-EU servers. The US servers were covered under Safe Harbour and then, when the EU courts showed the US didn't take their part seriously, annulled the treaty and Privacy Shield was born, but the US took that just about as seriously as the first treaty and totally ignored all their obligations - after 4 years, they had still failed to appoint a permanent ombudsman (heck, not even a temporary one, until they found a permanent one) and they didn't repeal the Patriot Act, FISA Courts or National Security Letters (or make EU data exempt from their reach, which is a requirement of the Privacy Shield treaty) - so that was overturned in 2020 as well.

            Which left US cloud companies clinging onto Standard Contractual Clauses, but they hold about as watertight as the hold of the Titanic - basically, in order for the SCCs to stand up, US companies would have to accept EU jurisdiction for their EU customer data and refuse US access to said data, in contravention to the CLOUD Act, the Patriot Act and National Security Letters.

            So, they have the choice, comply with US laws and avoid jail time for their executives and push their customers in front of the proverbial bus in the EU, or they protect their customers' rights and let their executives go to jail... You can guess which option US companies will chose, when push comes to shove.

            • Donte

              I get whatever with the servers not doubting laws and who or who did not follow that stuff.

              However if you have all of these stipulations and you truly believe that all of these corporations and governments are spying on you.....then stop using the product. It is that simple.

              All of those examples and stipulations and yet you post comments on this US server? Where your email is used for an account (sure it might be a throw away) but you IP, date, time, browser type, OS type etc is logged? All of that is logged. I bet he uses a cell phone for calls and data/app use, lots of people getting data on you there, cell providers, apps, phone OS etc. Same for credit card companies as well. What you bought, where you bought it from, how much you paid...etc.

              But you wont agree to an iCloud terms of service???

              • wright_is

                All of those examples and stipulations and yet you post comments on this US server? Where your email is used for an account (sure it might be a throw away) but you IP, date, time, browser type, OS type etc is logged? All of that is logged. I bet he uses a cell phone for calls and data/app use, lots of people getting data on you there, cell providers, apps, phone OS etc. Same for credit card companies as well. What you bought, where you bought it from, how much you paid...etc.

                If the IP address comes from the EU, the host server is under GDPR requirements and has to ensure that it is annonymised - the last 2 octets are zeroed - when the data is logged. Likewise, any tracking or storage of personal information can only be done with the consent of the visitor (those cookie tracking choice dialogs, where the visitor can chose which cookies and what information is stored), if the site doesn't allow that, it is in contravention of GDPR.

                And, again, as it is my information, I can decide, whether it is worth it for this information to be stored, in return for the service.

                However, I cannot make that decision on behalf of other people! I cannot post the names or other personal information about my family, friends or people I have met, that live in the EU, unless I get their explicit permission to do so.

              • wright_is

                I can chose what I post and how I post. That isn't a problem under EU law. It is the PII. If I chose to use my name or give my address, age or other information about myself, that is my business and I am free to do that under GDPR.

                What I am not free to do, is to pass on private information about third parties (contact lists, names and addresses, medical or social information etc.). That means, uploading my contact list to WhatsApp is illegal, uploading my contacts to Google, Microsoft or Apple is a grey area - WhatsApp actively looks through that list and passes the information on to Facebook (which they said they would never do, when Facebook bought them), whereas Google, MS and Apple "only" store the data. It is theoretically illegal, but actually only really a problem when the Feds force G, M or A to hand over my PII.

                I am then complicit in the breach of EU law and can face fines and prison. This is incredibly unlikely and most people either don't realise that what they are doing isn't allowed, or they take the risk that the information will ever be handed over to US authorities.

                It only becomes a real and present problem if you store business contacts on your device. If you have your business email and contacts synced to your private phone and that is then gobbled up by WhatsApp or copied to your iCloud/Outlook/Gmail storage, it becomes a major compliance problem for your employer! If you are caught doing this, your company will face fines of up to 25M€ or 4% of global turnover!

                That is why most companies have a policy in place, no WhatsApp or other messaging services on business phones and no company data on private devices - ours goes the other way as well, we aren't allowed private data on company devices either. I carry around a work phone, with work email, and a private phone with my private data and apps.

                At the end of the day, private individuals are small fry, it just isn't worth the time and effort to enforce the law, so if they want to take the risk with their contacts' data, that is their problem. But the authorities take a very dim view of businesses flouting the law.

  9. melinau

    From a purely Business perspective you have to admire Apple's performance. Technically their ARM chips are astounding, but I can't tolerate their "walled garden", nor their "we know best" approach to UI.

    As one of the first-movers in off-shoring most of their production to China I find their relationships with that State difficult, though to be fair, nobody making IT Hardware has clean hands in respect of China....