Liveblog: Apple’s Q3 2015 earnings bonanza

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Earnings call
What will today's Apple earnings call reveal?
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple is set to report its financial results from Q3 2015 to investors this afternoon and, as usual, Cult of Mac will be here to liveblog all the action, from the numbers down to the analysts’ questions.

Apple Watch sales have been looming large in the minds of investors and analysts now that the device has been available for a full quarter. We don’t expect CEO Tim Cook or CFO Luca Maestri to announce the Watch sales as their own category, but there’s sure to be plenty of speculation as to whether the new wearable has met sales expectations.

Today’s earning’s call is set to kick off at 2 p.m. Pacific, but we’ll be kicking off the liveblogging party early with a breakdown of all the numbers. Bookmark this page and join us for the Apple earnings bonanza.

July 21, 2015 2:59 pm PDT Buster Hein

That’s it! You can listen to the call later on iTunes if numbers and foreign exchange winds get you stoked.

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July 21, 2015 2:59 pm PDT Evan Killham

It’s almost as if online sales go down when a product that once was only available online goes to retail.

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July 21, 2015 2:58 pm PDT Lewis Wallace

For Apple Watch, “our June sales were higher than April or May,” Cook says. That sorta puts to lie that damning Slice data. Maybe Apple Watch isn’t tanking after all.

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July 21, 2015 2:58 pm PDT Buster Hein

Contrary to the belief that Apple Watch sales spiked in April, Tim Cook says that Junes sales for Apple Watch were higher than in April and May.

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July 21, 2015 2:57 pm PDT Evan Killham

Geographies are the new regions, which were the new markets. But now they’re old.

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July 21, 2015 2:57 pm PDT Lewis Wallace

Boy howdy.

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July 21, 2015 2:55 pm PDT Evan Killham

Oh no, it’s contagious.

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July 21, 2015 2:54 pm PDT Lewis Wallace

Why is Tim Cook talking about “geographies”? It’s a bizarre misuse of the term.

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July 21, 2015 2:54 pm PDT Evan Killham

Cook: “I’m very familiar with the ads.”

pwned

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July 21, 2015 2:52 pm PDT Evan Killham

LTE penetration in China is only 12 percent.

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July 21, 2015 2:51 pm PDT Evan Killham

You can’t spell “bullshit” without “bullish.”

I’m not sure if that actually means anything now that I’ve said it.

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July 21, 2015 2:51 pm PDT Lewis Wallace

Tim Cook is also bullish on China, despite the recent unpleasantness.

Volatility of Chinese stock market is not much to be concerned about, he says. Not as many average people invest there, so fluctuations aren’t as big a deal when it comes to potential iPhone buyers. And iPad buyers. And Apple Watch buyers.

The rise of the middle class continues to transform China, and that’s good news for Apple.

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July 21, 2015 2:50 pm PDT Evan Killham

iPad sales are 6 times greater than the nearest competitor. But people don’t upgrade their tablets nearly as often as their phones, I wouldn’t think.

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July 21, 2015 2:49 pm PDT Buster Hein

It’s going to take off, Lewis. We just need some better software… and a bigger display.

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July 21, 2015 2:49 pm PDT Lewis Wallace

“I am still bullish on iPad,” Cook says. Talk about an echo. People who own an Apple tablet are using it a lot, he says.

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July 21, 2015 2:48 pm PDT Buster Hein

Smartphones still have a lot of room for growth and improvement, according to Cook. “We’re in the early innings here, not the late innings.”

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July 21, 2015 2:47 pm PDT Buster Hein

Tim says Apple’s upgrade rate for the iPhone could change soon thanks to new plans from carriers that allow customers to switch to a new phone every year, or whenever they want. It could be a huge boost for growth.

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July 21, 2015 2:42 pm PDT Buster Hein

“Our job is to grow our product, regardless of the price,” says Tim. “That means we need to convince people to move from one price band to another.”

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July 21, 2015 2:40 pm PDT Evan Killham

“We’re convinced that the Watch is going to be one of the top gifts of the holiday season,” Cook says. They’re widening the channel or some such.

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July 21, 2015 2:40 pm PDT Lewis Wallace

Native Apple Watch apps coming in watchOS 2 “are going to be killer,” Cook says.

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July 21, 2015 2:40 pm PDT Evan Killham

“We’re more excited about how the product is positioned for the long-term,” Cook says.

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July 21, 2015 2:39 pm PDT Buster Hein

“The last majority of Apple Watch sales weren’t there until the last two weeks of the quarter,” says Cook.

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July 21, 2015 2:39 pm PDT Lewis Wallace

Scrape the exploding head stuff out of your ears Killham!

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July 21, 2015 2:38 pm PDT Lewis Wallace

Tim’s slight chuckle during that last statement was amusing.

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July 21, 2015 2:38 pm PDT Evan Killham

Pretty bad echo in this liveblog.

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July 21, 2015 2:38 pm PDT Evan Killham

Keeping the Apple Watch numbers quiet “wasn’t a matter of not being transparent; it was a matter of not giving our competition insight,” says Cook.

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July 21, 2015 2:37 pm PDT Lewis Wallace

Tim Cook maintains that Apple Watch sales secrecy is not about lack of transparency but about not giving competitors an advantage.

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July 21, 2015 2:37 pm PDT Buster Hein

More economic number magic gibberish, but it sounds so good with an Italian accent.

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July 21, 2015 2:35 pm PDT Lewis Wallace

Big screen equals big sales in Asia.

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July 21, 2015 2:34 pm PDT Evan Killham

The 6 Plus is doing great in GC and other Asian markets. That’s all I got from all of that.

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July 21, 2015 2:33 pm PDT Lewis Wallace

I would answer your question, but the follow up is going to make my head re-explode.

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July 21, 2015 2:33 pm PDT Evan Killham

My headless corpse is typing this because my head exploded.

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July 21, 2015 2:32 pm PDT Buster Hein

You mean you don’t understand sequentially decreasing basis points? (i hope that’s a real thing)

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July 21, 2015 2:32 pm PDT Lewis Wallace

That was some Wall Street gibberish right there.

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July 21, 2015 2:32 pm PDT Evan Killham

Next question: went right over my head.

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July 21, 2015 2:31 pm PDT Buster Hein

“We’re very confident that this quarter is going to look great,” said Cook, noting the fact that Apple’s seeing the highest Android switcher rate and customer satisfaction numbers its ever had.

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July 21, 2015 2:29 pm PDT Buster Hein

23% of the install base prior to the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have upgraded. That leaves a lot of headroom for growth on the iPhone 6s.
“From our point of view, the iPhone is doing outstanding,” says Tim.

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July 21, 2015 2:27 pm PDT Buster Hein

Katy Hubberty at Morgan Stanley asked why channel inventory was drained by 600,000 in the quarter.

“We sold more units than we thought we would,” says Cook. “The revenues could have been higher if we expanded the channel, but that’s not how we think about the business. We think about the business in the long term, not the 90-day clock.”

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July 21, 2015 2:26 pm PDT Evan Killham

Question time! Do you think anyone’s going to ask for Apple Watch numbers?

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July 21, 2015 2:26 pm PDT Buster Hein

finally, the call has been opened to questions…

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July 21, 2015 2:25 pm PDT Buster Hein

Apple expects to make between $49-$51 billion in revenue next quarter.

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July 21, 2015 2:23 pm PDT Buster Hein

Greater China will have 40 Apple Stores by mid-2016.

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July 21, 2015 2:23 pm PDT Buster Hein

Apple Watch has offset the decline in iPod and accessory sales. It accounted for over 100% of the growth in the ‘Other products’ category, says Luca.

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July 21, 2015 2:21 pm PDT Buster Hein

IBM already has 35 iOS apps, but it’s aiming to have a full 100 apps available by end of 2015.

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July 21, 2015 2:19 pm PDT Buster Hein

iPad sales have remained weak, but Apple CFO Luca Maestri says it’s been extremely successful in the markets it’s competing in. New features are coming this fall in iOS 9, too.

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July 21, 2015 2:18 pm PDT Buster Hein

Mac growth has been driven by portables, like the new MacBook, even though I still don’t understand why you’d want one of those gorgeous, underpowered machines.

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July 21, 2015 2:18 pm PDT Evan Killham

4.8 million Macs – 9 percent year-over-year growth.

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July 21, 2015 2:17 pm PDT Buster Hein

iPhones sales more than doubled in Malaysia and Germany. Big increases in Italy, Spain, and other countries too.

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July 21, 2015 2:17 pm PDT Evan Killham

iPhone sales are up 85 percent in GC and India.

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July 21, 2015 2:16 pm PDT Evan Killham

Numbers for days.

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July 21, 2015 2:15 pm PDT Buster Hein

Luca on the mic, spilling out all the numbers. There’s lots of numbers.

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July 21, 2015 2:15 pm PDT Evan Killham

I JUST SAID THAT, Buster.

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July 21, 2015 2:15 pm PDT Buster Hein

700 universities across the US will start accepting Apple Pay when school starts this fall, including Cook’s alma mater, Auburn.

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July 21, 2015 2:14 pm PDT Evan Killham

700 colleges and universities will start accepting Apple Pay this fall.

On track for “1.5 million locations by the end of 2015.”

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July 21, 2015 2:12 pm PDT Evan Killham

“Millions and millions of customers” are using Apple Music. Over 15,000 artists posting on Connect.

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July 21, 2015 2:12 pm PDT Buster Hein

Apple loses even when it beats its own expectations. Shares of the company’s stock are tanking in after-market trading.

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July 21, 2015 2:11 pm PDT Evan Killham

Now we’re just getting a recap of the WWDC stuff. I already liveblogged that. So I think double jeopardy comes into play.

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July 21, 2015 2:10 pm PDT Evan Killham

“It’s a rare and special privilege to launch a new platform with such promise and potential,” Cook says.

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July 21, 2015 2:09 pm PDT Evan Killham

8,500 third-party apps for Apple Watch, Cook says.

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July 21, 2015 2:08 pm PDT Evan Killham

94 percent of Apple Watch owners wear and use it every day, per Apple’s research.

“Doctors and researchers are putting Apple Watch to work in improving people’s lives.”

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July 21, 2015 2:06 pm PDT Evan Killham

Apple Watch time.

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July 21, 2015 2:06 pm PDT Evan Killham

24 percent rise in App Store revenue.

87 percent iPhone growth in Greater China.

Mac sales grew 33 percent in GC over last year.

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July 21, 2015 2:04 pm PDT Evan Killham

iPhone sales grew 35 percent, and Apple gained share in all geographic regions.

Revenue is up 59 percent, and it’s “the highest switch rate from Android that we’ve ever measured.”

86 percent of iPhone owners will stick with iPhones.

50 percent for next-highest brand.

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July 21, 2015 2:03 pm PDT Evan Killham

Earnings per share are up 45 percent.

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July 21, 2015 2:02 pm PDT Evan Killham

Tim Cook’s going to speak first.

We’re getting the “forward-looking” spiel now.

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July 21, 2015 1:55 pm PDT Evan Killham

We are about seven minutes out.

I gotta say, Apple’s hold music is way better than BMO’s. I got to listen to that for about 15 minutes last night.

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July 21, 2015 1:54 pm PDT Evan Killham

Apple’s seen a 112% increase in revenue from China over the past year. That’s huge.

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July 21, 2015 1:54 pm PDT Buster Hein

According to Luca Maestri, the Apple Watch account to for well over the $952 million increase in the ‘Other products’ category.

“We beat our internal expectations” for the watch, Maestri told the AP, adding that the number of watches sold in the first nine weeks was greater than the number of iPhones or iPads that the company sold in a comparable period after those products launched.

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July 21, 2015 1:50 pm PDT Evan Killham

Yeah, but how are they doing in LESSER China?

Riddle me that, analysts.

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July 21, 2015 1:49 pm PDT Buster Hein

Apple’s growth in Greater China is just absolutely insane. It exploded this quarter.

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July 21, 2015 1:48 pm PDT Buster Hein

Apple hasn’t given any Apple Watch sales figures, but If you look at the ‘Other products’ category, it only increased by $1 billion year-over-year. Hard to say if that 49% increase is due to Apple Watch or better Apple TV and Beats sales too.

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July 21, 2015 1:46 pm PDT Buster Hein

If you want the full/boring numbers chart, that lacks all of my colorful verbage, you can take a gander at it here

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July 21, 2015 1:45 pm PDT Evan Killham

Siri’s telling me that this is Quintet for Flute, Violin, Viola, and 2 Violoncellos in G Major by Jean-Pierre Rampal.

I mean, obviously.

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July 21, 2015 1:43 pm PDT Buster Hein

Full numbers are here

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July 21, 2015 1:43 pm PDT Evan Killham

The pre-stream music is making me feel like everything’s going to be alright.

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July 21, 2015 1:41 pm PDT Evan Killham

That’s compared to $37.4 billion and a net profit of $7.7 billion in the same quarter last year, or about a 33 percent increase.

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July 21, 2015 1:38 pm PDT Evan Killham

Way to thread the needle, Apple.

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July 21, 2015 1:37 pm PDT Evan Killham

Well, they were both wrong, apparently. Apple’s posting $49.6 billion and a quarterly net profit of $10.7 billion, according to the press release.

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July 21, 2015 1:27 pm PDT Buster Hein

According to Fortune’s survey, analysts on Wall Street are expecting Apple to report $50.61 billion in revenue. Apple estimated it would only make between $46-$48 billion though…

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July 21, 2015 1:24 pm PDT Buster Hein

Tim and Luca are at Apple HQ like

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July 21, 2015 1:24 pm PDT Buster Hein

Welcome to the liveblog! Apple’s press release for the earnings should be out any minute now.

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