Based in California, USA, Apple is an American company specialising in the creation and marketing of consumer electronics products. It also operates in the field of personal computers and software. The group has almost 147,000 employees worldwide. In 2020, its business improved remarkably, especially in the last quarter of this year's financial year.
Like many other companies around the world, 2020 was a very special year for Apple. In particular, the group had a difficult start to the 2020 financial year with less than attractive results in the first quarter. However, the company quickly recovered by improving its performance in the following quarters.
The results recorded for the second and third quarters of 2020 were very solid. They were mainly driven by services and a strong interest in the iPad and the Mac. This good momentum continued strongly in the fourth quarter. Over this period, the company achieved an exceptional performance.
This was driven in particular by phenomenal iPhone sales, in addition to growing public interest in the iPad and the Mac. In short, it must be said that the Californian group has shown good resilience in the face of the health crisis by ending the 2020 financial year in the best possible way.
In the fourth quarter of 2020, Apple set new records. Over the entire period, the company's revenue reached $111.43 billion (or €92.1 billion). This is the first time in its history that the Apple company has broken the $100 billion mark in quarterly sales.
A year earlier (in Q4-2019), the Californian high-tech giant had already recorded an impressive turnover of 91.81 billion dollars (75.9 billion euros). The turnover for the last quarter of 2020 was therefore up by 21% compared to the same period of the previous year.
This increase in Q4-2020 sales was driven in particular by the remarkable success of the iPhone 12 (its first 5G iPhone) during this quarter. Over the whole period, the group's profits amounted to 28.8 billion dollars (23.8 billion euros). This represents a year-on-year increase of $6.6 billion (24%).
Despite the Covid-19 health crisis that affected several countries around the world, Apple continued to conduct business in its geographic areas. The Californian group's largest market in Q4-2020 remains North America with revenues of $46.3 billion.
As was the case in the same period last year, Europe was the company's second largest market in Q4 2020. In this geography, it generated revenues of $27.3 billion in Q4-2020. In China, the company's revenues reached $21.3 billion.
In Japan, the US company recorded revenues of $8.3 billion in the last quarter of fiscal 2020. The same amount of revenue was generated by the group in the rest of Asia during this period.
In the fourth quarter of 2020, Apple recorded remarkable growth in all its product categories.
The iPhone remains Apple's flagship product. This was confirmed by its outstanding performance in the fourth quarter of 2020. During this period, iPhone revenues alone came to $65.6 billion, up 17% on the previous year. This is a new record achieved by the Californian firm.
However, it should be noted that the release of the iPhone 12 was delayed. Eliminating the "delayed release" effect and considering the second half of 2020, the iPhone generated revenues of $92 billion in H2-2020, compared to $89.4 billion a year earlier. That's 3% growth.
For the whole of Q4 2020, the iPad also posted a new record for revenues. Revenues for the iPad also set a new record for the entire fourth quarter of 2020, rising 41% year-over-year to $8.4 billion.
Mac revenues (for Q4 2020) amounted to $8.7 billion. This was down $0.3 billion from the previous quarter. However, compared to Q4-2019, they show an increase of $1.5 billion.
In sum, it should be recognised that iPad and Mac sales in 2020 are being driven by the containment measures adopted in several countries around the world. This is illustrated by the growth in revenues compared to the previous year.
In the period April to December 2020, revenues for both products are up between 22% and 46% compared to 2019.
For the fourth quarter of 2020, services increased by 24% compared to the same period last year. They reached $15.8 billion in the quarter. They thus continue the growth trend that has been underway for several years.
This growth was driven by services such as Apple TV+, Apple Music, Apple News+, Apple Arcade, Fitness+ and Apple One. In addition, the group also recorded a new record in Q4-2020 for revenues in the connected accessories and home accessories category. They stood at $13 billion, up 30% year-on-year.
For fiscal year 2020, the dividends paid to shareholders by Apple's Board of Directors are as follows with payment dates.
In addition, at the end of October 2020, Apple has a market capitalisation of $1,972 billion.