Apple sells record 74.8 million iPhones in fiscal Q1, falling under Wall Street expectations

Apple sells record 74.8 million iPhones in fiscal Q1, falling under Wall Street expectations
As expected, Apple has just announced its fiscal first quarter results, and the most important piece of news was a disappointment for Wall Street. The company sold 74.8 million iPhone units in the three month period topping last year's sales of 74.5 million iPhones. But that fell below Wall Street's expectations that 75.5 million handsets would be sold during the holiday quarter. Still, the 74.8 million is the highest number of iPhone sales ever made by Apple in a single three month period.

While the Apple iPhone 6s and Apple iPhone 6s Plus had no design change, the new handsets did add 3D Touch and bumped the rear camera to 12MP from 8MP. The front-facing shooter was increased to 5MP from 1.2MP, and 2GB of RAM is now inside.

Apple iPad sales continues to slide. 16.1 million tablets were sold during the three month period, down from the 21.4 million that sold last year. That is after Apple introduced its 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro. Apple Watch sales were not broken out. 

Revenue for the quarter fell short of Wall Street's estimate of $76.4 billion. Apple took in $75.9 billion, up from last year's $74.6 billion. The company still managed to produce mind blowing profits of $18.36 billion, up slightly from the $18.1 billion it recorded last year. Earnings per share came in at $3.28, up from 2015's $3.06 and the $3.23 that Wall Street was looking for. The Greater Chinese market did well with Apple reporting $18.37 billion in sales, up 14% year-over-year.

For the current quarter, Apple sees revenue in the range of $50 to $53 billion. But most analysts expect to see Apple report its first year-over-year decline in iPhone sales when its fiscal Q2 results are released in April. Tim Cook says the current quarter will be the toughest for iPhone comparisons, but he expects handset sales to pick up in the second half of the year. One positive sign is that iPhone channel inventory was at Apple's low end as the quarter ended. Channel inventory for the iPad, on the other hand, was within Apple's target range as the period came to an end.

There isn't much in the way of a reaction on Wall Street after hours. Apple's shares are down .79% to $99.24.

source: WSJ, CNBC

Related phones

iPhone 6s
  • Display 4.7" 750 x 1334 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Apple A9 APL0898, Dual-core, 1840 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 1715 mAh(14h 3G talk time)
iPhone 6s Plus
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Apple A9, Dual-core, 1840 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 2750 mAh(24h 3G talk time)



1. Rafishant

Posts: 396; Member since: Oct 13, 2015

Feel happy! I hope this fall is incentive enough to make Apple produces a way revolutionary iPhone 7! Same thing happened when Samsung changed the plastic design of its flagships with a new great design.

2. tedkord

Posts: 17357; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

What fall? New record units sold. Record financials. Why would this be incentive?

3. Rafishant

Posts: 396; Member since: Oct 13, 2015

I know Apple did a great job and broke another record, but it is not as amazing as many expected at launch of the iPhone 6s/ Plus. This could be a warning sign. So, Apple needs to release more innovative products to stay in the top.

15. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

My dude, the general consensus prior to this report was that the iPhone sales would be in decline. As you can see, it sold slightly more. What you are referring to is wall street estimates. It's been a while since Apple pleased them. Don't put much stock into it. For an S year this late in the game, it was a success. Now comes the iPhone 7!

25. Nathillien unregistered

Flat is decline in still growing mobile world.

6. willard12 unregistered

They launched in China on day 1 for the first time in order to get that record, which is only slightly higher than last year without China. This is also the reason they will report their first YOY decline next quarter because they won't be launching in China. This will lead to more innovation from them. And more law suits.

26. cheetah2k

Posts: 2256; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Its not clear if these figures are representative of sales to carriers & stores. What are the actual figures of new iPhones sold to consumers? I'm assuming this is considerably less

31. Macready

Posts: 1821; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

In all fairness, the tiny (0.4%)growth in iPhone sales was only thanks to China (+14%), which also means that the rest of the world *did* see falling iPhone sales. And if you realize that in Q1 2015, it took exactly 3 weeks for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to become available in China, while the 6S and 6S Plus were available directly in China in Q1 2016, that 14% growth over an almost 30% longer measured period, could easily be a drop over the same period too. Something many analysts haven't even realized yet. For Q2, Apple predicts 9% to 14% lower overall revenues (YoY) though.

58. engineer-1701d unregistered

i want to know real sales activation numbers and am not talking about replacment phones on insurance or apple store switch how can you have the same record breaking numbers of phone sales each time yet no new people i still dont see any more iphones out there more tham before this is a scam to up the slump in stock numbers it came out not selling well numbers dropped so ext day its a record number of sales ? really apple

62. coldspring22

Posts: 349; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

Pay attention to what Apple said about Q2!!!! 50-53 billion in revenue vs 58 billion a year ago Q2!!! What could that possibly mean??? God forbid a historic first ever yoy iphone decline is Sales? Why yes, dear blind isheeps, there is such thing as coming drop in iphone sales!

65. almostdone

Posts: 448; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

Apple would like you to believe their watch and iPad Pro are big success stories. In reality it's like a drop in the ocean. Zero impact.

69. Canaan

Posts: 351; Member since: May 25, 2014

They did great, but Apple originally expected sales of 80-90 million before the release of the new phones back in August and early September. I would really love to know what percentage of the 74.8 million came from the 6s and 6S plus. Last year, the 6 and 6 Plus made up about 80% of the reported 74.5 million sold, wonder if the same applies this year or of they went for the cheaper 6/6 Plus?

78. coldspring22

Posts: 349; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

Nope, A new record yes, but in wrong direction! Apple set a historic first drop in iphone sales YOY for Q1 2016 - down to 71.5 million iphones were sold from 74.5 million units Q1 2015! Apple executives desperate to hide declining iphone sales, reported number of iphone shipped to retailers (74.8 million) instead of actual sales to consumers (71.5 million). Channel stuffing is great strategy to make your numbers look good, but truth will eventually come out!

5. mrochester

Posts: 999; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

I think the narrative should be less around how Apple can be even better than it already is and more around what companies other than Apple need to do to be as successful as Apple. We'd have a much more interesting smartphone market if we had more companies like Apple instead of the garbage Android spewing copycats.

11. willard12 unregistered

Those Android manufacturers can be as successful as Apple only if they can figure out how to sell a $199 phone for $750. Until they figure out how to sucker people into doing that, it won't happen. And thanks for the comment. The "garbage-spewing" reference will be useful when people come here complaining about all of the Apple-hating that goes on.

44. AlikMalix unregistered

I'm trying hard to leave the fanboy wars, but posts like yours just pull me right in: so here it goes: This android manufacturers can be as successful as Apple only if they can figure out how to build their OWN ecosystem, support it, entice third party to support it, pay out the most for apps and make it easy by not flooding it with every conceivable variation of hardware. Build what most of population find comfortable, don't waste resources on every concivable feature or gimmick and concentrate on stuff that's needed or at least create a need for it before releasing it. Bottom line, if any android manufacturer stops smooching off googles freeware, build their own product where they don't depend on others to support, give consumers options they can understand, make sure their ecosystem is predictable (that's very important), and you got a product that makes you money and hundreds of million of people enjoy. Nearly everyone I know that uses android does not see the difference between my 6s resolution/sharpness and G4 or S6, for example. Yes there are fanboys that love to throw numbers, but iPhone screen is sharp, the colors are nice, and no one is complaining that it needs to be sharper (just like no one is complaining that it needs to be thinner, right?). Think about what consumers really want and you'll understand why Apple is so successful. The "garbage spewing" comment above makes me cringe, too.

51. willard12 unregistered

The other problem with that theory is that's 63% of Apple's revenue is from iPhone sales and sales and iphone sales alone, which you have to admit is based on popularity and the psychological need to fit in. Owning an ecosystem didn't help Palm and hasn't hurt MS on the PC side. The ipad is on that same ecosystem, it's just not as easy to show off and people don't care as much whether or not you have a new one and look at the direction of its sales. You can credit Apple for people not wanting to leave its ecosystem, but it is just as difficult to leave Android. The only difference is there are about 100 more choices for a person to stay on Android. And, those choices are getting cheaper, not more expensive. But, locking people into something doesn't make it great. You're searching for differences and trying to attribute them to causation. In reality, a company gets $200B in the bank by making it at a cheap price, selling it at an expensive price, and making more profit per device than anyone else by far. You van only get away with that by making something a status symbol. Remember, as great as the "ecosystem" is, in terms of sales, Samsung still sells a whole lot more phones than Apple, they just don't enjoy the huge mark-up. I know what consumers want. They want to go on Facebook and show everyone they too got the new iphone. Do you really think they care what it does? They wanted it when it couldn't send an MMS, when they couldn't change their wallpaper,when it didn't have 4g LTE, when it was small, when it didn't have a notification panel ( at one time these were all gimmicks that people didn't need but it was great after Apple gave it to them)..and that is because of status, not predictable ecosystem, or comfort, or whatever other platitude that can be thought of. But now they've reached the point where they don't have a new market (China) to save them. And they will have to start competing again.

53. AlikMalix unregistered

Your view of iOS users is so narrow and extremely negative. Further debate with you is absolutely pointless. Enjoy your device.

71. DnB925Art

Posts: 1168; Member since: May 23, 2013

Unfortunately that is true, and many Android users fall into the same category as well. I'm in IT as a Network Sys Admin and support BYOB mobile devices in a national real estate company I work for. the VAST majority, and when I say VAST I mean 9 out of 10, really don't understand how their phones work. All they care about is that they can get our work's Zimbra email on it, take photos of houses, browse the web to get to the local MLS board's listings, and get on Facebook. You'd be surprised how many of our agents have the little "1" notification on their System Preferences icon on their iPhone and iPad (and also Android notification) that an OS update is ready on their iOS 7.x/8.x device/9.x (yes there are agents who have never updated their phone since the day they bought it). The number of apps most of our agents use on iOS and Android are minimal because they just don't download them. I'm in agreement with willard12 on this one. You know I respect many of your views AlikMalix, but in general many iOS (and Android) users really don't know jack about their phones. The reason why Apple does so well esp on the iOS front, and in their Mac lines as well, is their perception of simplicity. Our agents want something that seems simple and just does the things I mentioned above, but also looks good since our agents sell million dollar+ houses in the Silicon Valley to techies in the area.

77. Canaan

Posts: 351; Member since: May 25, 2014

Those people must be blind, if you had said the 6S plus, I would have said okay you might have something there, but the 720p of the 6s the same as G4 and Galaxy S6 is pushing the credibility. You can't even watch full HD videos on the 6s either and there's a difference. I'm not an apple hater either, I actually own an apple iPad mini 2 since I think Apple tablets are superior to Android, but for phones I prefer android.

47. nodes

Posts: 1159; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

never going to happen. you can't sell a Linux powered notebook for the price of Windows powered notebook.

32. tedkord

Posts: 17357; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

The only problem with your theory is that the best phones since 2012 or so haven't been iPhones.

66. mrochester

Posts: 999; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

Yes they have.

59. engineer-1701d unregistered

you are aware that apple has copied everything from others right i mean everything, mostly because apple fans buy blindly no matter what android owners have hundreds of phones to choose from each with android but yet all different not like cookie cutter apple cpoycats that sue any other company for any reason because the old people are just learning about somethings that came out years ago and they think they are the first

74. AlikMalix unregistered

engineer, I'm going to guess you mean "copied from others - not specifically from android manufacturers" right? If that's the case I have a previous implementation for everything "I mean everything" that android has featured. Apple fans buy what they like, "blindly" is your interpretation of something you do not understand or poor attempt to describe something you don't know. You don't know jack s**t about me or the hundreds of million Apple users. I've lost all respect for you from this post. Both you and the person you replied to are wrong, but at least he criticized a product, you went off blabbering about people you don't know. Thanks for playing....

4. Unordinary unregistered


7. Zylam

Posts: 1817; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

Sad day for 99 percent of the commentors here. But what they don't know is, because apple does so well, it forces other rival to up their game. You think Android would be this great without apple? Think again, we all know Android was originally a bb ripp off. The best thing that ever happened to the Xbox One was that Sony killed it with the PS4, now MS Listern to us and we get awesome updates.

21. DRS1977

Posts: 679; Member since: May 27, 2015

I own a GS6 and Apple stock, win win for me.

27. Applesexual3

Posts: 7; Member since: Dec 16, 2015

These figures are from Apple overshipping the 6s to retailers, not from "good sales". The 6s is selling much worse than the 6 in terms of sell-through rate, but since Apple already made a contract before release with retailers to sell a certain amount of units this quarter, retailers have no choice but to keep buying the 6s despite not selling out. Every unit that retailers buy is counted as a "sale" to Apple, so regardless of whether the 6s sells or not, they still make a profit. This is just a smokescreen from Apple.

79. coldspring22

Posts: 349; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

Yes you are 100% right! Gartner reported that Apple in fact sold only 71.5 million iphones were sold for Q1 2016 (vs 74.5 million sold in Q1 2015)!! So indeed Apple executives, becoming desperate tried to used channel stuffing as smoke screen to hide the fact that iphone sales are dropping YOY! Apple executives should be ashamed of themselves for trying to hoodwink the public.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.