Citing comments Apple chief financial officer Luca Maestri made on the Cupertino, California company’s earnings conference call Thursday (November 1), CNBC reported Maestri said the number of iPhones isn’t “representative of the underlying strength of our business” and that “a unit of sale is less relevant for us today than it was in the past, given the breadth of our portfolio and the wider sales price dispersion within any given product line.”
Apple has always reported unit sales for its iPhone, Mac and iPad products, while the Apple Watch has fallen into the other devices category. News that Apple will no longer report sales figures sent the stock down in aftermarket trading by as much as 7 percent, noted CNBC. “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 according to CNBC. “As we accomplish these objectives, strong financial results follow.” The executive pointed out that rival smartphone, tablet and computer makers don’t provide quarterly unit sales information. He did note that Apple realizes unit sales is of interest to Wall Street analysts and investors and that when it thinks it is relevant to provide “qualitative commentary on unit sales,” it will do so.
For the fiscal fourth quarter, Apple’s iPhone sales expectations fell short of Wall Street expectations, although the average selling price of its iPhones hit the highest levels in the company’s history. For its fiscal fourth quarter, Apple was able to beat Wall Street views both on the earnings and revenue but offered up guidance that was below what Wall Street was looking for. That, too, pressured the stock in after hours trading Thursday (November 1).