“5G is once in a decade kind of opportunity, “Tim Cook told the media during the Q&A part of Apple’s Q3 earnings call.” And we can’t be more excited to reach the market exactly when we’re done. “
The truth of the matter is that his time was a mixed bag. Apple it was, by some accounts, late to 5G. By the time the company finally announced it was adding the technology across its full range of variants for the iPhone 12, much of its competition had already beaten the company to a halt. Of course, it’s not a big surprise. Apple’s strategy is rarely a race to be first.
5G networks are really starting to get into their own right now. Even today, there are still wide ranges of users who have to default to an LTE connection most of the time using their phones. The arrival of 5G on the iPhone has been as much a test of the future of this year’s models as anything. Consumers have longer phones, and in the three or four years before it’s time for another update, 5G cards will be very different.
Clearly, the new iPhone didn’t come on the market exactly when Apple had hoped; the pandemic has seen that. Asia-based bottlenecks have delayed the launch of the iPhone 12 by a month. It’s going to have an impact on the bottom line of your quarterly earnings. The company saw a 20% drop for the fourth year, year-over-year. It is very significant, causing the company’s shares to drop by more than 4% in extended trading.
Apple’s diverse portfolio has helped curb some of those revenue slides. While the pandemic has generally had a profound impact on consumer spending for “non-essentials,” changing where and how we work has helped boost Mac and iPad sales, which were 28 and 46%, respectively, year-on-year. . It wasn’t enough to completely stop the iPhone’s collapse, but it certainly brings the importance of a different hardware portfolio to a strong relief.
China was a big problem for the company this time around – and the lack of a new iPhone 5G allowed it to contribute. In larger China (including Taiwan and Hong Kong), the company saw a 28% drop in sales. There are several reasons to be hopeful about iPhone sales in Q4, however.
As I noted this morning, smartphone shipments were almost all over the board in China for Q3, according to new Canalys figures. Much of this can be explained by Huawei’s ongoing problems with the US government. Throughout the dominant manufacturer in mainland China, the company has been hampered by, among other things, a ban on access to Android and other technologies made in the United States. Apple’s numbers have remained relatively stable compared to the competition and Huawei’s problems may present a large gap in the market. With 5G on the sidelines, this next quarter could prove a flagship year for the company.