It’s a known fact that Apple is one of the biggest smartphone sellers in the world. However, the US-based company is now making it harder for people to figure out the exact number of devices it’s selling. According to Luca Maestri, Apple’s Chief Financial Officer, the company will no longer reveal unit sales data regarding its devices. The announcement was made during a conference call with investors. The move will take effect next quarter and it will cover all devices sold by the company. Instead, Apple will only make public revenue data.
The move comes days after Apple posted its fiscal fourth-quarter report. Although iPhone sales failed to meet Wall Street targets, revenues were all looking very good. There’s no doubt that the omission of unit sale data will be problematic for many investors. This is one of the most crucial factors they look at to check how the company is performing. However, Apple believes that revenue data should be enough. After all, the company has often managed to generate high revenues even with a small number of device sales. This is because Apple is able to raise its prices and target only high-end customers. On Tuesday last week, the company unveiled a new line of Macs and iPads during an event in Brooklyn. The new devices were all revamped with additional new features and the cost increased substantially.
Apple stocks didn’t react well to the lower than expected unit sales though. The company’s shares plunged 4% as soon as the report was released. They plunged further by 7% during the day’s trading. In addition to this, the move to omit unit sale data was also not received well in the market. Apple stocks plunged another 6.7% after the conference call.
Device sales for Apple haven’t been that good. However, this has generally been a problem even for other smartphone companies this year. But Apple has been creative in the way it deals with it. Increasing per unit prices has worked so far to fill in the revenue gap associated with slow sales. Just recently, the company announced the iPhone XS Max, a larger and more popular phone that appears to have attracted quite a number of users. In addition to this, the lower end iPhone XR which is cheaper compared to the other devices is expected to appeal more to budget-conscious buyers.
Apple wants to use the device to promote device upgrades among the already existing iPhone users. This is because, since the iPhone 8, all devices that Apple has released have all been priced high. Analysts believe that the cost barrier has been one of the limiting factors for Apple fans who want to upgrade, and the low-end device may help deal with this in the future. Whether this will have any positive effect on overall device sales remains to be seen but even if it does, we will probably never know after the announcement today. Apple has also been trying to diversify its revenues away from device sales by offering additional services to its customers.