Apple 4Q15 Earnings

Today's Above Avalon story: 

  • Apple 4Q15 Earnings

The email is broken into three sections: primary takeaways (there are five - a few good ones, a few not so good ones), an early read on 1Q16 and 2016 trends, and my complete conference call notes.  

  • Primary Takeaways
  • iPhone Upgrade Program: A Big Deal
  • Apple News: A Bellwether
  • Apple Watch: Ready for a Surprise?
  • iPad: Ouch
  • Share Buyback: Betting Big
  • An Early Read on 1Q16 and 2016 Results
  • Complete Earnings Call Notes

Wall Street had two primary near-term concerns for Apple: a weakening economy in China and slowing iPhone sales growth. Apple's strong 4Q15 results likely put to rest concerns about a slowdown in China (for now). However, there will continue to be questions as to whether Apple will be able to grow iPhone unit shipments in FY2016. Management reiterated the view that the combination of new users to iPhone, along with current iPhone owners upgrading to a newer device, will contribute to growth in iPhone shipments in 1Q16. However, there is no denying that iPhone sales growth is slowing dramatically. Instead of blaming this slowdown on economic issues, competition, or a lack of customer interest in 6s and 6s Plus, the most likely culprit is difficult year-over-year comparisons as China Mobile was still beginning to sell the iPhone for most of 2014 and 2015. 

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