Apple reported its earnings for the fourth quarter of its 2023 fiscal year on Thursday, and while the revenue dollar count was enormous as usual, the company nonetheless reported lower year-over-year revenue for the third consecutive quarter.
The iPhone was the only hardware product that saw any growth compared to the same time last year; revenue was down across the rest of the board for Mac, iPad, and wearables (which primarily includes Watch and AirPods).
On the other hand, the company's services business again beat expectations and helped make up for lagging hardware sales. Services is a large bucket that includes many things, from subscriptions like Apple TV+, iCloud, and Apple Music to the company's search deal with Google, which is now at the heart of the Google antitrust trial in the United States.
Services raked in $22.31 billion in revenue during the quarter, while the iPhone managed $43.81 billion. The Mac accounted for $7.61 billion, the iPad $6.44 billion, and wearables $9.32 billion.
Speaking to shareholders and the press, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the personal computer market is presently "challenging" and that the Mac had an unusually strong fourth quarter last year, inviting an unfavorable comparison. However, the company just announced an updated lineup of Macs based on the new M3 chip, so the Mac's fortunes could improve in the next quarter.
The quarter reported here only included about a week of iPhone 15 sales, too, and sales of the most expensive iPhones (iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max) may have been slowed by supply constraints.
Investors and analysts are expecting and hoping for a turn in the tide for the next quarter, which will include the initial demand for those M3 Macs and most of the holiday iPhone 15 sales. Cook said the iPhone 15 has been beating the iPhone 14 so far.