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Apple has released its sales numbers for the past quarter. The results are in: The company reported a 5% drop in revenues compared to the same quarter last year, marking Apple’s largest quarterly revenue decline since 2016. This comes despite double-digit growth from Apple’s services segment and strong growth from China.

The sales decrease is mainly due to falling revenues from Apple’s iPhone segment, which saw an 8% quarter sales decline. This is largely caused by a downturn in iPhone shipments globally amidst fierce competition from rivals such as Huawei, Xiaomi, and Samsung.

The news further cements Apple’s transition from being a smartphone manufacturer towards becoming even more of a service provider with its content, apps and gaming businesses that have seen impressive growth over the past few quarters.

Apple sales drop 5% in largest quarterly revenue decline since 2016

Apple reported a 5% drop in revenue for their latest quarterly report, marking the largest revenue decline for the company since 2016. This is a significant change from their record profits seen in the past few quarters, and it is important to understand the reasons behind this sudden drop in sales.

In this article, we will look at the data behind Apple’s quarterly revenue and discuss the implications of this drop.

Overview of Apple’s Revenue

Apple reported a 5% drop in revenue during their second quarter of 2020, marking the largest quarterly revenue decline since 2016. This news may concern Apple investors, as the tech giant was used to consistently growing revenues in recent years. The company attributed the decrease in revenue to the negative economic impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic due to which iPhone sales were down 17%.

Apple’s total revenue for its second quarter was $58.31 billion, a 5 percent decrease from $61.44 billion a year ago and missing analysts’ expectations of $60.87 billion. However, one bright spot for Apple is that its services businesses — such as App Store and Apple Music — remained largely unaffected by a range of economic factors that led to lower year over year results in other segments such as iPhone sales, which dropped 17%.

The company’s “Greater China” region — which includes mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan — also saw weak performance with quarterly revenue decreasing 24% year-over-year as consumer demand was further impacted by stay-at-home orders resulting from COVID-19. This could be particularly concerning considering how important Greater China’s consumer market has been for Apple in terms of growth over recent years; however this could be seen as an inevitable consequence of a global pandemic that has impacted global economic activity drastically.

Apple’s Revenue in the Past Quarter

Apple Inc. reported a 5% drop in revenue for the past quarter, making it its largest quarterly revenue decline since 2016. The $58.3 billion revenue for the quarter ended March 28th was driven by lower iPhone sales, with revenues down 11 % to 37.6 billion US dollars over the same period last year. iPad and Mac sales were also down by nearly 8%.

Despite these figures, Apple’s Services business succeeded in sustaining growth with a 17% increase YoY to 11.5 billion US dollars. In addition, four of Apple’s other product categories (iPod touch, Apple TV, Beats products and accessories) saw a modest quarter-over-quarter increase.

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The troubling figures come as CEO Tim Cook and his team face increased pressure from investors worried about the potential of slowing iPhone sales this year amid reports that fewer people are upgrading their devices to newer models like the iPhone XS or XS Max because of their high cost of entry. Cook is expected to make some major announcements about future services next week at its keynote event at WWDC19 on June 3rd which could help offset declining iPhone revenues with long-term subscriptions or access fees from streaming video millions of users have come to expect from similar services provided by competitors Netflix or Hulu Plus.

Reasons for the Revenue Decline

Apple’s quarterly revenue declined 5% from last year, the largest decline since 2016. There could be a few reasons why this has happened. However, analysts have identified some key factors that could have led to the decline in revenue.

One of the main reasons could be the stagnation of the smartphone market. Let’s explore in more detail.

Impact of Coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted many industries and Apple is no exception. During the past quarter, Apple saw its revenue decline by 5%, the largest quarterly revenue drop since 2016.

Several factors have contributed to the sudden decrease in sales. One of the most significant effects of the pandemic on Apple has been due to people’s decreasing willingness to purchase big-ticket items like iPhones, Macbooks and iPads, because their economic standing may be affected by job losses or looming layoffs. Additionally, supply chain disruptions as well as store closures across major markets around the world have also put a damper on sales figures.

Apple services such as iCloud storage, Apple Music subscriptions and App Store purchases were not immune to this phenomenon either. With fewer people working in offices, many are turning to video streaming services for entertainment or teleconferencing apps such as Zoom for work purposes — potentially impacting sales numbers for those particular services that Apple offers.

These factors have generally affected many large technology corporations worldwide like Microsoft and Nvidia who are vying in the same sector as Apple; however, Apple’s future remains uncertain until further news develops regarding how long this economic landscape continues from the current virus outbreak.

Impact of Trade War

The primary contributing factor to Apple’s quarterly revenue decline of 5% is believed to be the ongoing trade war between the United States and China. This conflict has weakened economic ties between the two countries and has resulted in increasing tariffs, declined demand for goods, and slowed investment.

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This eventually affects Apple’s business as U.S. customers shop less and few Chinese customers buy their iPhones due to the high prices caused by their direct involvement in the trade dispute. Additionally, Apple Inc’s Chinese suppliers have had to decrease their orders due to decreased demand, resulting in further losses for Apple’s supply chain.

As a result of this global economic crisis, Apple’s first quarter sales declined by $7 billion compared with last year’s figure.

Apple’s Response

Apple Inc. recently reported its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2019, revealing a 5% drop in their quarterly revenue. This is the largest quarterly revenue decline Apple has faced since 2016.

In response, Apple’s chief financial officer Luca Maestri stated “We anticipated economic weakness in some emerging markets. However, we also believe there is an accelerating return to our Mac and iPad products.”

Let’s take a closer look at the details of Apple’s response to their declining sales.

Cost-Cutting Measures

Apple reported a 5% drop in revenue during its first financial quarter of 2020, leading to a decline in sales compared to the same quarter last year. This is the company’s largest quarterly revenue decline since 2016. In response, Apple CEO Tim Cook has implemented several cost-cutting measures including pulling spending on non-essential resources and business travel, reducing retail store working hours, and implementing headcount reductions in areas that are not essentials to the business.

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The company plans to cut costs and adjust its capital expenditures for upcoming projects. In addition, Apple also plans to reduce third-party spending for services that are not necessary for operations. These measures aim to keep cash flow positive while allowing Apple to maintain its competitive position in the market as it navigates this challenging environment.

Strategic Business Decisions

Apple recently reported its fiscal earnings, revealing a five percent decrease in revenue compared to the previous year—the largest year-over-year quarterly decline since 2016. However, the company’s CEO Tim Cook said in an interview with CNBC that the drop was “expected and planned for” and attributed it to strategic business decisions that the company had taken over the quarter.

Cook discussed Apple’s focus on long-term investments that he believes will pay off in the long run even if they may cause a slight dip in revenue for now. Specifically, he pointed to improvements made to Apple Music, Apple TV, and other services that remain free of charge, as well as focusing on hardware devices like the iPad Pro which have far exceeded previous sales projections.

Cook also noted that despite slowdowns in Chinese retail due to the coronavirus outbreak—which has caused a serious blow to major international companies like Apple—other parts of its business such as services have seen growth this past quarter. He concluded his statements by emphasizing his confidence in Apple’s commitment to releasing innovative products over profits.


The global COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on sales across many industries, including Apple. Despite the current market uncertainty and downturn, Apple remains committed to its long-term product strategy while ensuring its financial strength and flexibility. However, in the coming quarter, Apple may face further pressure in their overall sales due to the continued impact of COVID-related restrictions and other economic challenges.

However, Apple is well positioned to benefit from a strong customer base; existing loyal customers and the continual increase in new customers attracted by their innovation, quality products, and support for App Store developers. Additionally, Apple plans to launch new products despite expected lower demand for products like iPhones due to travel restrictions and extended quarantine periods worldwide.

The company will also attempt to capitalize on pent-up demand in certain areas with several aggressive pricing strategies to entice customers to upgrade their hardware or software products. The parameters surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic are fluid, so it is difficult to predict how much sales will be affected by these dynamic factors in the future. However, with strong customer loyalty and projected efforts centered around innovative product launch strategies for upcoming quarters, we anticipate an eventual rebound in sales for Apple.

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