Apple will stop reporting how many iPhones, iPads and Macs it sells each quarter

Key Points
  • Apple will stop breaking down the numbers of iPhones, iPads and Macs it sells each quarter, beginning with the December quarter.
  • Its shares took a dive postmarket after Apple made the announcement on its earnings call.
Apple will no longer give unit sales figures in future reports

Apple will stop reporting how many iPhones, Macs and iPads it sells each quarter, beginning with the December quarter, Apple CFO Luca Maestri said on the company's earnings call Thursday.

Apple always breaks down how many of its most popular products it ships each quarter, including the iPhone, Mac and iPad. Other devices, such as the Apple Watch, have remained in a secondary "Other" category.

"As we have stated many times, our objective is to make great products and services that enrich people's lives, and to provide an unparalleled customer experience, so that our users are highly satisfied, loyal and engaged," Maestri said. "As we accomplish these objectives, strong financial results follow."

Apple stock was down 7 percent in aftermarket trading once Maestri made the announcement.

Maestri said the number of units Apple sells each quarter is "not necessarily representative of the underlying strength of our business." He added that "a unit of sale is less relevant for us today than it was in the past, given our breadth of our portfolio and the wider sales price dispersion within any given product line."

"By the way, our top competitors in smartphones, in tablets, in computers do not provide quarterly unit sales information, either," Maestri said. "But of course we understand that this is something of interest, and when we believe that providing qualitative commentary on unit sales offers additional relevant information to investors we will do so."

That's important because, as Wall Street saw today, Apple missed iPhone sales expectations, while the average selling price increased to its highest levels ever. In other words, Apple's iPhones sales may continue to decrease without having a huge effect on its bottom line, since the price of iPhones is increasing.

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