Apple suffers 10% drop in quarterly iPhone sales to start the year, biggest drop since pandemic

Apple on Thursday revealed its steepest quarterly decline in iPhone sales since the pandemic’s outset, deepening a slump that’s increasing the pressure on the trendsetting company to spruce up its products with more artificial intelligence.

The 10% drop in year-over-year iPhone sales for the January-March period is latest sign of weakness in a product that generates most of Apple’s revenue. It marked the biggest drop in iPhone sales since July-September period in 2020, when production bottlenecks caused by factory closures during the pandemic resulted in a delayed release of that year’s model.

The current iPhone downturn was the main reason Apple’s revenue for the latest quarter decreased 4% from last year’s to $90.8 billion. It marked the fifth consecutive quarter that Apple’s revenue dipped from the previous year. Apple’s profit in the past quarter totaled $23.64 billion, or $1.53 per share, a 2% dip from last year.

But both Apple’s revenue and earnings per share came in slightly above analysts projections, according to FactSet Research. Its stock rose more than 6% in extended trading after the news came out. The shares have fallen 10% so far this year, erasing about $300 billion in stockholder wealth.

Part of the iPhone deterioration during the first three months of the year stemmed from a big boost in sales during the same period last year when Apple said it was filling pent-up demand caused by pandemic-driven shipment delays.

Even as it stumbles slightly, Apple remains one of the world’s most prosperous companies. The Cupertino, California, company hammered home that point by announcing a 4% increase in its quarterly dividend to 25 cents per share.

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