APPLE EARNINGS PREVIEW: Just How Massive Was The iPhone 6, Really?


tim cook ipad apple


Apple CEO Tim Cook

It's Apple earnings time.


Apple reports earnings after the market closes on Monday, October 20.

We're going to be all over it, so tune in.

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These are the numbers analysts are looking for (revenue/EPS comes from Yahoo Finance, iPhone/iPad comes from Bloomberg):

  • Revenue: $39.85 billion, which would represent 6.2% year-over-year growth.
  • EPS:$1.31
  • iPhone units: 38 million, which would be 12.4% growth.
  • iPad units: 13 million, which would be an 8% drop on a year-over-year basis.
  • December quarter revenue: $63.52 billion, which would be 10.2% growth

In the past month and a half, Apple has had two media events to reveal its newest product line up.


  • We saw two new iPhones - the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus.
  • We saw a new iPad, the iPad Air 2, as well as a tiny update to the iPad Mini.
  • We saw a new 27-inch iMac with a 5k retina display, which just means it's stunningly high-resolution.
  • We also saw the Apple Watch, which is Apple's first new product category since the iPad in 2010. It won't be out until early 2015.
  • Apple also introduced Apple Pay, a new iPhone-based payment system for buying things in the store. It also works on the iPhone for buying things online.

For the most part, none of these things will factor into Apple's earnings for the quarter it's reporting. The only product that was available during the September quarter was the iPhone 6. And it was only available in limited supply for the last 10 days of the quarter.

iPhone 6 line

AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

iPhone 6 line

However, even with limited supply, Apple sold a lot of iPhones. It already announced it sold over 10 million iPhones during the first weekend the iPhone 6 was on the market. And then, it had another week to sell even more phones.

During Apple's iPad event last week, CEO Tim Cook said the iPhone 6 has been a monster seller. "These iPhones have become the fastest-selling iPhones in history. And the first 30 days we have set a new high-water mark for the most orders taken. And I don't mean by a little. By a lot, a whole lot."

So, we expect to hear more from Cook about how the iPhone 6 is selling during the earnings call. Analysts will probably want to know about iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus supply, which seems tight right now. They will also probably want to know which one is selling better. We don't expect a direct answer from Cook on either question.

Tim Cook iPhone 6


We also expect analysts to grill Cook on the iPad. For years, Cook said tablets would be bigger than the PC. That still seems likely, but the iPad has lost its mojo. It's facing another negative quarter, and Apple's new line up of iPads doesn't seem to do anything to reverse that trend. It will be interesting to hear Cook explain what he thinks is happening.

And finally, we'll listen to hear Cook's take on how Apple Pay can work as a business for Apple. Most reporting suggests that Apple will make very little money on Apple Pay. Which is fine. It can be a killer feature that sells more iPhones and iPads. But, we'd like to know if that's how Cook sees it, or if he has ideas for a bigger business built on Appple Pay down the road.