Apple has hailed "impressive" performance in the business space in Q2 as it announces an overall slump in sales – the first fall in 13 years.
For the second quarter which ended 26 March, net profit at Apple slumped 22 per cent annually to $10.5bn (£7.20bn), on net sales which over the same period took a 13 per cent nosedive to $50.6bn.
Apple partly blamed its performance in mainland China for the sales slump – last year's Q2 sales in the country were up 81 per cent annually, but sales fell 11 per cent in Q2 this year. The strong dollar was another reason for declining sales.
Apple's chief financial officer Luca Maestri pointed to its enterprise business as a star performer.
"[The] iPhone's momentum in business markets continues to be very impressive," he said on a call with analysts. "A recent survey by 451 Research found that among US corporate buyers planning to purchase smartphones in the June quarter, 78 per cent plan to purchase iPhones. That is the highest June-quarter iPhone purchase intent ever measured by the survey and five points higher than a year ago. And the latest data published by IDC indicates that iPad accounts for 72 per cent of the US commercial tablet market, comprising business, government, and education."
In July 2014, Apple teamed up with IBM as it looked to beef up its enterprise presence. The duo aims to collaborate on enterprise mobility products which they claim brings the power of big data to Apple's products.
Maestri said the partnership is progressing well.
"We are also making great progress with our enterprise initiatives," he said. "IBM now has engagements for more than 200 deployments of native iOS apps for large-enterprise customers to accelerate mobile transformation. Our Mobility Partner Programme also continues to grow, with 108 partners across 20 countries."
TechMarketView chairman Richard Holway said that despite the sales slump, Apple did well.
"They still managed $10.5bn profits in just one quarter," he said. "It seems strange to ascribe such doom to a company that increased its cash mountain to $233bn."
But he said the company needs a "next big thing" to reignite sales growth.
"The Apple Watch has so far proved not to be it," he said. "The long-promised revolution with Apple TV seems elusive. The iPhone, iPad and Mac markets are all in maturity and it really is difficult to forecast a reversal in the current trend.
"Maybe the Apple iCar – Apple's worst-kept secret – is the long-awaited answer?"
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