Apple sees first full year of falling revenues since 2019 as Mac and iPad sales slow

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Apple has seen its first full year of declining revenues since 2019, amid falling sales of Macs and iPads.

The company sold more iPhones than it did in the same period last year. But it was not enough to offset drops in other products, and th company’s revenues dropped 3 per cent over the last fiscal year.

iPhone revenues came in ahead of expectations, and Apple has never sold more of them in this period of any year. Services, which includes subscriptions such as Apple Music, also saw a record and grew more than expected.

But Apple said that it was facing “an uneven macroeconomic environment”. That pulled Mac revenues down 34 per cent over the last year.

Apple said that fall was the result of “challenging market conditions” but also said that the same period last year was particularly good. But it might also be related to the fact that Apple has been relatively slow to update its products in recent months.

The company fixed that earlier this week, when it released a series of new chips and computers to put them in. But the results of that update will not be seen until future quarters, since the products are not yet released.

Still, chief executive Tim Cook told analysts not to look at the difficult period as “representative of the underlying business performance”. Instead, it was largely a result of extra demand the same time last year, he claimed, though he also said that he expected the new computers to sell well.

iPad sales also fell. Apple has also largely left its tablet line-up alone, and it is the first time in years that the company has not updated any iPad for a whole year.

Apple has also faced scrutiny over its China business, which has for a long time helped with its growth While Apple saw declining revenues in Greater China in the quarter, that was largely because of problems with foreign exchange – the company actually made more money than previously without that.

In a call after the results, Mr Cook also pointed to other upcoming products. He said that the Vision Pro will only be available in stores when it is launched, and that buying it will be a very different process to other products.

He was also asked about the introduction of AI in his products. He said that machine learning is a “fundamental technology” and pointed to a range of features – such as fall detection on the watch and live voicemail on the phone – which make use of the technology.

“In terms of generative AI, obviously, we have work going on,” he said. “I’m not going to get into details about what it is, because as you know, we really don’t do that. But you can bet that we’re investing.

“We’re investing quite a bit. We’re going to do it responsibly, and it will… you will see product advancements over time where those technologies are at the heart of them.”