UPDATED with Tim Cook Emmy, and user privacy, comments: Apple CEO Tim Cook took an unaccustomed detour during Apple’s quarterly conference call, lingering on Apple TV+, a pocket of the company that’s so small relatively speaking it doesn’t usually get a shout out. That’s what nearly a dozen Emmys will do.
“In just its first two years, Apple TV+ has already proved itself to fans around the world and I want to congratulate the incredible actors, writers, storytellers, producers and everyone else whose behind-the-scenes work has made that success possible,” Cook said.
“Apple TV+ won 11 Emmys including the award for outstanding comedy series for Ted Lasso. That show has continued to bring light and laughter to fans all over the world with its boundless optimism and beloved cast of characters. We couldn’t be more proud of our entire lineup of content, from the gripping second seasons of The Morning Show and Truth Be Told to our newest programs [like] Swagger, which is out tomorrow.”
He didn’t go as far as offering subscriber numbers or viewing stats. CFO Luca Maestri said the services division, where Apple TV+ resides, had 745 million paid subscribers – 160 million more than the year earlier and nearly five times the number five years ago. Services also include Cloud, music, video advertising, Apple Care and payments, the App store and other lines.
Asked about Apple’s decision to allow users to block tracking — a decision that’s wreaked havoc on the market for targeted digital ads — Cook said the company did it because “it believes strongly that privacy is a basic human right.”
“Feedback from customers is overwhelmingly positive. They like to have the option,” he said.
“We have historically rolled out more and more features over time to place the decision on whether to share data and what data to share in the hands of the user where we believe it belongs. We don’t think that is Apple’s role to decide, or another company’s role to decide.”
PREVIOUSLY: Apples shares were down close to 4% in late trading after it reported quarters sales below expectation as Covid-related supply chain issues cited by companies across all sectors this earnings period weighed on sales of iPhones.
The company reported revenue of $83.4 billion for the fiscal fourth quarter ended in September, up 29% from the year ago but a bit below Wall Street’s forecast. Earnings per share came came in at $1.24. That’s on a net income of a whopping $20.5 billion.
CEO Tim Cook told CNBC the numbers were strong but the company took a $6 billion hit from chip shortages and supply chain issues in Southeast Asia. He’s holding a conference call at 5 pm ET.
Apple service revenue which includes AppleTV+ subscriptions, was $!8.3 billion, up from $14.5 billion.
Apple has never broken out any numbers for individual services like Apple TV+, which launched in November, 2019. The streamer continues to land coveted movie packages and roll out series on the heels of a triumphant first season of Emmy-winning Ted Lasso. The show nabbed seven Emmys and Apple TV+ earned 11 total across five programs at the awards last month.
Sales of iPhones, Macs and iPads were, respectively, $39 billion, $9.1 billion and $8.3 billion — all up from the year before but below expectations. Sales from wearables came in at $8.7 million.
Beyond supply chain issues, Cook is likely to get questions on how its new privacy bar for consumers on iOS is messing with digital advertising at Snap, Facebook and across mobile apps — as witnessed by recent earnings. iPhones now requires people to actively opt-in if they want advertisers to track them across apps and websites. Apparently some aren’t which makes it harder for companies to deliver lucrative targeted ads. The shift, which started last summer, smashed Snap stock lower after the company announced quarterly earnings last week.
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