Equity podcast: Dog-walking startup gets $300M, Airbnb isn’t going public and Amazon is fine

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week Matthew Lynley and Alex Wilhelm were joined by General Catalyst’s Steve Herrod, who helped us...

A traveling frog exposes the fake app problem in Apple’s Chinese App Store

An app about a frog that likes to travel has exposed worrying signs that Apple isn’t doing enough to prevent fake apps from entering its App Store in China, the world’s largest smartphone market and Apple’s single largest country for app revenue. The story centers around ‘Tabi Kaeru’ — or ‘Travel Frog’ — a Japanese app that has become an… Read More

iPhone sales numbers dipped slightly, but revenue is up courtesy of the iPhone X

As far as sales figures go, this last quarter wasn’t entirely rosy for Apple. During today’s earnings report, the company posted sales of 77.3 million iPhones, down just under a million from this time last year. Of course, that 78.2 million figure from 2017 represented a new record for the company. But Wall Street still expected another increase, up to 80.2 million phones for the quarter, as the company added a 10th anniversary flagship to the line. In spite of that disappointment, Apple actually saw a 13-percent bump in revenue for Q1 2018, thanks in no small part to the fact that the iPhone X represents a significant price premium over the iPhone 8 and past models. The average price per iPhone is ~$40 higher then it was this time last year. The price premium hasn’t stopped the iPhone X from topping Apple’s own sales charts, either. An analysis of the industry recently singled out the high-end handset as the top selling phone for the holidays, in spite of failing to hit some industry goals. Today Apple added that the X has been the best selling iPhone model since launch. “We’re thrilled to report the biggest quarter in Apple’s history, with broad-based growth that included the highest revenue ever from a new iPhone lineup,” Tim Cook says in a press release tied to this evening’s news. “iPhone X surpassed our expectations and has been our top-selling iPhone every week since it shipped in November.” Cook also notes that the company’s overall active installed device base just hit 1.3 billion. Likely the company is still viewing all of this disappointment, but still a net positive. After all, revenue is really the bottom line here, even if the optics of a sales dip aren’t as cheery. Apple’s shifted to a new sales model, and even if the iPhone X wasn’t a wild success by every metric, the company’s demonstrated that people are willing to pay $999+ for a premium smartphone experience.

Apple saw $5.5 billion in revenue from AirPods, Watches, TVs and other products last...

Other than its iPhones and computers, Apple sells a bunch of other products, like the AirPods, Apple Watch, Apple TV, Beats products, iPod Touch and most recently, the HomePod. In Q1 2018, Apple saw $5.5 billion in revenue for these other products, an increase of 36 percent year over year. That increase suggests Apple’s Watch Series 3, which it launched this past September, and its AirPods are selling well. In Q4 2017, Apple sold just $3.2 billion worth of other products. To be clear, these revenues do not include pre-sales for the HomePod, which starts shipping February 9 for $349. Apple’s revenue in Q1 2018 was $88.3 billion, so sales from other products make up a small portion of the company’s overall revenue. Still, $5.5 billion in not a small amount of money. Apple’s biggest revenue-driver this quarter was, unsurprisingly, the iPhone followed by services, which includes AppleCare, Apple Music and other services. In Q1 2018, Apple sold $61.6 billion worth of iPhones and $8.5 billion worth of services.

Apple’s $1T dreams are on hold as it delivers a disappointing quarter despite iPhone...

Apple’s dream of becoming a $1 trillion company will have to wait — at least for a little while. But while iPhone sales this year were about flat (down about 1% to be exact), revenue from the iPhone rose 13% year-over-year. That means Apple is finding ways to get more revenue out of the same number of units, so it may indeed be finding demand for higher-priced phones amid the usual consumer appetite for new iPhones. That higher average selling price means that Apple may have indeed succeeded in unlocking a new tier of consumer demand for higher-priced products, and its three-pronged approach may end up paying off in the end — though it still has to figure out how to ignite that massive upgrade cycle among the rest of its consumer base. Despite the release of the iPhone X, which was accompanied by a wave of positive reviews and seen as Apple’s interpretation of what a next-generation smartphone looks like, Apple wasn’t able to create the so-called “supercycle” that would prompt a massive wave of new iPhone upgrades — leading to a bit of a collective shrug from Wall Street as everything else about hit on target. Despite looking to unlock a new, higher-priced tier to tap potential demand for early-adopters, Apple wasn’t able to see the kind of massive wave that a new size of phones brought. Here’s the scorecard: Revenue: $88.3 billion, compared to $87.1 billion analyst estimates. Earnings: $3.89 per share, compared to Wall Street’s expectations of $3.83 per share. iPhone sales: 77.3 million, compared to 80.2 million iPhones sold expected by Wall Street. iPad sales: 13.2 million Mac sales: 5.1 million ASP: $796 (this is a big one) Services revenue: $8.5 billion, up 18% year-over-year Other products: $5.5 billion, up 36% year-over-year Guidance: between $60 billion and $62 billion, compared to $65.7 billion expected from Wall Street. One thing to note here is that this quarter had 13 weeks, compared to 14 weeks reported in the same quarter a year ago. So the numbers will be a little wonky here, but at the same time, most of this was baked into expectations going in and still didn’t quite hit the crazy mark that Wall Street sought. Over the past several weeks, reports of weaker demand for the iPhone have come in from a number of different directions — and while it wasn’t clear exactly how it was going to play out until Apple delivered the numbers today, it did serve as somewhat of a signal that Apple wasn’t able to hit that crazy ramp with the iPhone X for any number of reasons. Apple’s guidance also fell a little on the weaker side, which means that the company might not be getting that huge lift from the iPhone X that Wall Street had initially sought. Here’s what the revenue looks like: Services continued to be a bit of a bright spot for Apple, once again rising around 18%. In addition to building a new iPhone to re-ignite its growth engine, services — which includes things like Apple Pay and Apple Music — is an increasingly important part of that puzzle. Consistent, methodical growth from its services business translates to just added-on incremental value for Apple, which can offset the peaks and troughs that come with iPhone update cycles. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said a few times that he expects Apple’s services business to be the size of a Fortune 100 company. For Apple to get to that insane (largely symbolic) $1 trillion market cap, it had to show Wall Street it could deliver on multiple fronts: build that huge services revenue business, come out with new products like the AirPods (and theoretically HomePod) that were successful, and of course come out with a new blockbuster iPhone. Signs were pointing in the right direction on its last earnings call, which pushed the company to a $900 billion market cap, but the reality of fickle consumer demand is settling in as Apple continues to try to find a way to spark that huge upgrade cycle. Those reports brought a massive run from Apple to a halt after it looked like it was primed to become a company with a $1 trillion market cap with a new generation of iPhones. The iPhone X had a staggeringly big price tag, but the bet that there would be a bracket of consumers that would pay extra for a newer phone was one that made sense in theory. So, that run to $1 trillion is probably on hold until Apple is able to really create that “super-cycle” that it wants.

Amazon blows past Wall Street expectations for holiday quarter

Amazon reported quarterly financials after the bell Thursday for its fourth quarter, the all-important holiday season for the e-commerce giant. And its numbers had some people doing a double take, after earnings per share...

California DMV disengagement report reveals self-driving improvements

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles releases an annual report detailing the number of disengagements reported by companies it has licensed to test autonomous vehicles on public roads in the state. This year, the report...

DreamWorksTV launches its first over-the-top streaming service on Amazon Channels

Awesomeness, the digital media company acquired by Comcast for $3.8 billion in 2016, is today bringing kid-friendly programming, including original content, to Amazon Prime subscribers with the launch of DreamWorksTV on Amazon Channels. The...

German antitrust office starts asking questions about online ad platform giants

Germany’s national competition regulator has announced it’s looking into market conditions in the online advertising sector, responding to concerns that a lack of transparency could be skewing market conditions. It could open up a...

Twitter is opening up its full archive to the broader developer community

Twitter today is launching a new premium product for developers that will provide access to the full Twitter archive – going all the way back to the first tweet from Twitter CEO @Jack (Jack...

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