During today’s Apple earnings call, chief executive officer Tim Cook and investors focused much of their attention on the iPhone, including a year-over-year decline in sales.
Still, Apple reported its strongest financial results ever, with revenue of $75.9 billion in the December quarter and the news that there are now one billion active Apple devices in use worldwide.
Apple didn’t share specifics on how that number was split among its devices, or how its products and services contributed to the bottom line, but this will be increasingly relevant as the iPhone slows its rapid growth.
Not much focus was given to the much-hyped Apple Watch, which became available in April 2015 and has done much to bring the smartwatch into the popular conscience, but Cook did share that Apple expanded its distribution to almost 12,000 locations in 48 countries during the quarter. He and chief financial officer Luca Maestri didn’t share details on watch sales, but did offer that sales were especially strong during December’s holiday buying season.
And although mobile payments have been somewhat slow to take off in general, Cook shared that Apple Pay usage had increased in the second half of 2015; there are more than five million contactless payment-ready locations in the countries where Apple Pay is live. Apple introduced the mobile payment platform in Canada and Australia with American Express, and plans to bring it to China, Hong Kong, Spain and Singapore in the coming year.
While the company never provides a hint at future project, when Cook was asked about virtual reality, and if it could be adopted by the average consumer, he did offer that he thought it was “really cool and has interesting applications.”
Ultimately, he said, “Our financial position has never been stronger. We had the mother of all balance sheets, with almost $216 billion in cash.”