Apple, a technology company you may remember from such hits as the iPhone, iPad, Mac, AirPods, and Apple Watch, has announced that it expects to remain in business through 2020.
While the financial fate of the company appeared touch-and-go for a minute due to retail store closures and supply chain disruptions, Apple has not actually run out of money yet, and may still exist when the iPhone 12 launches this fall.
The company made a paltry $US11.2 ($17) billion profit on $US58.3 ($89) billion in revenue during the second quarter of the fiscal year, which would normally signal that bankruptcy is just around the corner. But these are not normal times. As you may have heard, we are living through a global pandemic that shut down China, where many of the factories where Apple components are made and its devices assembled, for much of the second quarter. China is also one of Apple’s biggest markets, and its retail stores were closed.
But despite a rough February, production was back to normal by the end of March and Apple stores in China are open again. Even in the U.S., where stores are still closed and Apple has taken a hit in AppleCare revenue (because no one can take their devices in to be repaired), people are still buying Apple products and subscribing to Apple services. (Apple CEO Tim Cook said retail employees are still getting paid, despite the store closures.)
Companies and city agencies have placed bulk orders of iPads and Macs to help employees work from home more easily. Everyone else has been buying devices and spending a shit-ton of money in the App Store to pass the time inside. Apple services set a revenue record of $US13.3 ($20) billion in the March quarter. Cook said FaceTime and Messages set all-time records for daily volume in Q2, because we are all so, so, so terribly bored.
Apple didn’t just narrowly avoid financial collapse this quarter. The company also doubled down on its efforts to assist with efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus: distributing 7.5 million face masks; creating a covid-19 symptom-checking app that was downloaded two million times; and partnering with Google to develop an exposure-tracking API that will let public health app developers alert users when they’ve come in contact with someone infected with covid-19. That API is currently in beta.
“When you consider all the ways covid-19 has touched Apple, its customers and the way we work, this may not have been the quarter it could have been, but I can’t recall a quarter where I’ve been prouder of what we do or how we do it,” Cook said.
Apple survives to fight another day.
But in all seriousness, the Cupertino tech company is just another giant corporation making billions of dollars during a really weird time. But, hey, it could probably be worse.