Silicon valley giant Apple has earned more than $100bn in its first quarter of 2021, making it one of just a handful of firms to ever have done so.
Apple’s revenue for the quarter ended December 26 rose 21 per cent to $111.44 billion. Earnings per share rose to $1.68 from $1.25.
Analysts had expected $103.28bn and $1.41 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Only a handful of companies have posted $100bn in quarterly sales, including Walmart and Exxon Mobil.
Sales of iPhones were $65.60bn, compared with estimates of $59.80bn and beating Apple’s previous quarterly all-time high of $61.58bn in iPhone sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2018.
The opening quarter is often one of the most important for Apple, which has traditionally benefited from a sales bump over the Christmas period.
Apple, the biggest U.S. listed public company by market capitalisation with a value of $2.4trn, has thrived through a pandemic that forced it to shutter many of its stores but prompted many consumers to buy or upgrade devices.
Apple CEO Tim Cook told Reuters in an interview that the company now has an active installed base of 1.65 billion devices, compared with 1.5 billion devices a year ago.
Cook also said Apple now has an installed base of more than 1 billion iPhones, an increase over the 900 million the company most recently disclosed in 2019.
Mac sales reached $8.68bn, in line with analyst expectations of $8.69bn. Apple in November released its first laptop and desktop computers with processor chips of its own design, breaking a nearly 15-year partnership with Intel Corp.
Sales of iPads were $8.44bn compared with analyst expectations of $7.46bn.
Cook told Reuters that sales of Macs, iPads and the iPhone 12 Pro model all ran into “supply constraints.” He said that “semiconductors are very tight” but that other areas of the supply chain contributed to the constraints as well.
The company’s services business, which includes its new Apple One bundle of television, music and cloud storage services, had $15.76bn in revenue, compared with analyst estimates of $14.80bn.
Apple’s wearables and accessories segment, which includes the Apple Watch and AirPods product lines, hit $12.97bn in revenue, versus analyst estimates of $11.96bn.
Apple in December released the AirPods Max, a $550 set of over-ear wireless headphones, with shipment dates stretching months into the future within hours of the product’s launch. Cook said short supplies of the AirPods Max could continue into the company’s current fiscal second quarter.
Apple also declared a dividend of 20.5 cents per share. Chief financial officer Luca Maestri told Reuters that relative weakness in the value of the U.S. dollar added about 100 basis points to Apple’s fiscal first-quarter revenue but did not have an impact on the company’s gross margins.
Apple recently found itself wrapped up in controversy surrounding former President Donald Trump. The giant joined Google in banning Parler, a right-wing social network, from its app store over concerns it had not done enough to regulate content inciting violent.
The decision came after US President Donald Trump was permanently removed from Twitter for using the platform to incite last week’s violence at the US Capitol.
Apple initially removed Parler after giving the site 24 hours to provide a content moderation plan, pointing to the fact users took to the site to coordinate last week’s riots.