10 Notable Takeaways From Apple's Quarterly Earnings Call

A September To Remember

Apple had its September quarter earnings call Monday evening, in which it discussed its better-than-expected results.

The period included Apple's launch of the iPhone 6 in several countries, the Retina MacBook Pro and iOS 8.

The company also announced in September Apple Pay and the Apple Watch at the iPhone 6 event.

Those product releases were followed up in October with the unveiling of new iPads, iMacs and OS X Yosemite.

Company CEO Tim Cook chatted up the strides made during the quarter, defended falling tablet sales and gave a glimpse into Apple's future during the call.

Impressive iPhone Sales

Fueled by the mid-September release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple set a record for the quarter by selling 39.27 million iPhones, up 16 percent from last year's 33.8 million. The sales result also beat out analysts' expectations of 38 million.

To make this number even more impressive, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were not released in many major international markets prior to the end of the quarter, including China, the largest smartphone market in the world. It wasn't until Oct. 17 that the iPhone 6 expanded to these markets.

"We are in the early going, and we are selling everything we are making," said Cook of the iPhone 6 sales during the call. "But I've never felt so great after a launch before."

iPad Sales Continue To Slide

It wasn't all good news for Apple, as the record setting iPhone sales made up for the ever-dipping iPad numbers.

iPad sales declined for the third straight quarter. The company sold 12.3 million iPads between July and September, down 13 percent from the year-ago period.

Cook responded to the falling numbers calling it a "speed bump" before adding "[it's] not a huge issue."

Apple recently released the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 on Friday, and Cook said during the call that he believes Apple Pay will help the company sell more devices. The new mobile payment platform launched Monday and so far both new iPhone models and the new iPads with Touch ID support it.

Apple-IBM Ready To Roll

Cook revealed during the earnings call that the first products from Apple's partnership with IBM will be ready to hit the market at the beginning of November, saying the deal "could change the way people work."

And he added the mobile enterprise --which the partnership is expected to bring Apple into -- has yet to be fully tapped when it comes to the iPad.

Apple and IBM revealed the partnership in July, and Cook (pictured here with IBM CEO Ginni Rometty) said in the company's previous earnings call that it was the dipping iPad sales that lead to the IBM deal.

IBM is expected to make over 200 business-oriented applications for iOS devices as part of the partnership. Cook did not give any details as to what exactly will be released in November.

The Mac Is Back

Apple sold 5.52 million Macs in the September quarter, up from 4.6 million a year ago.

Cook said he was especially proud of these numbers noting that worldwide PC sales have declined, yet Macs grew by over 20 percent for its highest quarterly market share since 1995.

The boost in Mac sales came from a very successful back-to-school season, Cook said, as all Macs, especially MacBooks, did exceptionally well with back-to-school buyers.

"I think if you went out to college campuses about now, you'd see a lot of Mac notebooks based on the sale," Cook said. "Being up 21 percent as the market is shrinking, it doesn’t get better than that."

Apple released its new Retina 5K iMacs just last week to prepare for the holiday quarter.

Apple Sets New Earnings Record

Cook had a lot to be happy about during the earnings call as his company reported a net profit of $8.5 billion for the September quarter, up from $7.5 billion last year. That equates to $1.42 per share for the recently-ended quarter, which came in above the $1.31 analysts expected.

Apple reported $42.1 billion in sales, up from $37.5 billion a year ago, and higher than the $40 billion Wall Street analysts expected.

iTunes Sales Up

Apple's ever-growing ecosystem continued to do well as the company posted record numbers in multiple categories, including iPhone sales.

The iTunes store had sales valued at $4.6 billion, up from $4.3 billion in the year-ago period.

Cook boasted that Apple's revenue from iTunes alone was more than two-thirds of the companies that make up the Fortune 500 list.

As more users choose to adopt iOS devices, more Apple products are being sold from the iTunes Store and the App Store. Apple's ecosystem is expected to grow even more with the release of Apple Pay and next year's rollout of the Apple Watch.

Happy Holidays!

The company expects to pull in revenue between $63.5 billion and $66.5 billion in the current quarter, which includes the holiday selling season. To put it in perspective, Apple reported revenue of $57.6 billion last year. Even the low-end of the current quarter guidance would be an all-time record for the tech giant.

With Apple now selling the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in more international markets, the new iPads being released, Apple Pay gaining wider adoption, the new iMacs hitting store shelves and iOS devices gaining more of a presence in the mobile enterprise as part of the IBM partnership, Cook has big expectations for the holidays.

Cook On Apple Pay

Cook talked up his company's new mobile payment platform during the earnings call this week, describing it as a more convenient way to pay for items that offers greater security and privacy. Cook said Apple does not track user's purchases, meaning Apple doesn't know what a user has bought with Apple Pay, and he sees that as an appealing aspect of the platform for users.

He added that the company doesn't charge customers or merchants for using Apple Pay, and that it accepts an undisclosed amount from banks that issue the debit and credit cards used.

Apple Watch

The Apple Watch, Apple's first wearable device, is slated for release early next year.

When speaking of Apple Pay and the Apple Watch, Cook said the two products expand the Apple ecosystem and referred to them several times as "something only Apple can do."

When speaking of the watch, Cook revealed his intent for secrecy, saying he doesn't plan to reveal the device's sales numbers at all next year.

The company has lumped the Apple Watch into a category with iPods and Apple TV, saying that it is not a sign that they are expecting weak sales, but a tactic to hide its sales numbers from competitors.

Future Products

Cook did little expounding on his comments during his interview with Charlie Rose on PBS last month where he stated, "There are products we're working on that no one knows about, yes. That haven't been rumored about yet."

Cook acknowledged during Monday's call that future products are coming and they will expand the Apple ecosystem. He said "I'm not giving any hints," before teasing analysts and investor on the call by saying, "I'm incredibly optimistic about the future," and later added, "there's no other company that can do this … Apple's creative engine has never been stronger."