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Apple CEO: ‘Enthusiastic’ iPhone 12 Demand Drives Record-Breaking Quarter

The company reported all-time record quarterly revenue with double-digit growth for all of its product segments, including iPhone, Mac and iPad.

After several years of finding iPhone growth hard to come by, Apple is finally seeing a new ramp-up in revenue after the launch of the 5G-enabled iPhone 12 lineup.

Customer response to the iPhone 12 portfolio “has been enthusiastic, even in light of the ongoing COVID-19 impact at retail locations,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said Wednesday during the company’s quarterly call with analysts.

[Related: The 10 Biggest Apple Product News Stories Of 2020]

Revenue for the iPhone during Apple’s first quarter of fiscal 2021, ended Dec. 26, climbed 17 percent from the same period a year earlier, to $65.6 billion.

The launch of the iPhone 12 series in October had been much anticipated, with the new iPhones becoming the first to support high-speed 5G connectivity. The iPhone 12 series includes four models, including a brand-new model, the smaller-screened iPhone 12 Mini.

The iPhone results helped to drive an all-time record for quarterly revenue at Apple, with fiscal Q1 revenue rising 21.3 percent to reach $111.44 billion.

Also helping the record results was the double-digit growth in all of Apple’s product categories.

Revenue for iPad jumped 41 percent to $8.44 billion during the quarter, year over year. And the Mac business grew 21 percent to $8.68 billion, Apple reported.

The quarter was the first to include sales of Macs powered by the new “Apple Silicon” Arm-based processor, the M1. In November, Apple announced three models--the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini--featuring the M1 chip.

During its fiscal Q1, Apple saw “strong demand” for all of the M1-powered Mac models, CFO Luca Maestri said during the quarterly call Wednesday.

“We’re also pleased with the rapid adoption of the Mac employee choice program among the world’s leading businesses,” Maestri said. “With the introduction of M1-powered Macs, we’re excited to extend these experiences to an even broader range of customers and employees, especially in times of increased remote working.”

The transition to Apple Silicon--and away from Intel chips in the Mac--is expected to take two years, according to the company.

“If you look at the Mac, the M1, I think, gives us a new growth trajectory that we haven’t had in the past,” Cook said Wednesday. “If Q1 is a good proxy, there’s lots of excitement about M1-based Macs. As you know, we’re partly through the transition—we’ve got a lot more to do there. We’re in the early days of a two-year transition. But we’re excited about what we see so far.”

Later, Cook noted that market share for the Mac “is quite low in the total personal computer market. And so there’s lots of headroom there.”

Kinetic Technology Group, a Mac-focused MSP based in Dallas, is already seeing strong interest from clients for the M1-powered Macs, said CEO Jim Harryman. Clients have been intrigued by the M1’s massive performance gains, though some key applications aren’t yet compatible with the chip, he told CRN.

“Our clients have been chomping at the bit to buy [the M1 Macs]. And we’re having to pull their reins a little bit to keep them from actually doing it right now-- because they have software in use that can’t run with the M1 yet,” Harryman said

Once the compatibility issues are addressed, however, Harryman expects that many clients will opt to purchase M1-powered Macs. “I see our clients refreshing very soon in this regard,” he said.

During its latest quarter, Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple also saw big growth in its Wearables, Home and Accessories business (up 30 percent to $12.97 billion) and in its Services business (up 24 percent year-over-year to $15.76 billion).

Apple’s net income for the quarter rose to $28.76 billion, or earnings of $1.68 per diluted share. That’s compared to net income or $22.24 billion, or earnings of $1.25 per diluted share, a year earlier.

When asked by an analyst about sources of growth going forward for Apple, Cook pointed to the company’s efforts to achieve greater sales of its products into businesses.

“We’ve been on a multi-year effort in the enterprise and have gained quite a bit of traction there,” Cook said. “We’re very optimistic about what we can do in that space.”

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