Apple overcame supply problems that had slowed production of iPhones and other popular devices to produce its most profitable holiday season to date.
The statistics for the final three months of 2021, which were released on Thursday, help to demonstrate why Apple is looking even stronger at the tail end of the pandemic than when it began two years ago.
Apple’s iPhone sales had begun to dwindle at the time, as users continued to cling on to their older smartphones for longer periods of time. But the Cupertino, California-based corporation can’t seem to keep up with the continuously increasing demand for a product that has become even more important in the expanding era of remote work.
During a conference call with investors, Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “IPhone has never been more popular.” Apple’s Mac computers and, to a lesser extent, iPads continue to be popular. Apple announced that it now has more than 1.8 billion devices in use worldwide, with the iPhone leading the way.
The inability of Apple to properly supply the voracious need for iPhones is due to a pandemic-driven shortage of computer chips, which is hurting the manufacture of everything from autos to medical gadgets.
However, Apple has so far navigated the gaps “in almost Teflon-like fashion,” according to Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives in a Thursday research note. With such astute management, Apple was able to post iPhone sales of $71.63 billion for the October-December quarter, a 9 percent rise over the same period the previous year.
Those sales improvements would have been even more strong if Apple had been able to secure all of the semiconductors and other components required to manufacture iPhones. This issue afflicted Apple’s July-September quarter, during which management projected that supply bottlenecks decreased iPhone sales by almost $6 billion. Cook stated, without elaborating, that supply problems had an even greater impact on its sales in the most recent quarter.