What's Up With Apple: iPads or iPhones, Car Crash Detection and More

When Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) reported quarterly results last week, CEO Tim Cook revealed that supply chain issues cost the company $6 billion in revenue. Those issues are also forcing Apple to choose between making new iPads or new iPhones.

According to a report in Nikkei Asia, iPad production has been halved over the past two months as Apple is allocating more components common to both devices to the iPhone 13. Apple is also allocating compatible components from older versions of the iPhone to keeping production up on the new iPhones.

This makes sense because iPhones contributed almost 47% of the company’s revenue in the 2021 fiscal year that ended in September. Apple’s net income for the year totaled $94.7 billion, a 65% year-over-year increase, and gross margin rose from 38.2% a year ago to nearly 42%. Apple doesn’t disclose a profit breakdown by product, but it is probably a safe guess that about half the company’s profits are down to iPhone.

According to data released Monday by IDC, Apple shipped 14.7 million iPads in the September quarter, nearly twice as many as runner-up Samsung and three times the total shipped by third-place Amazon. Apple held a 34.6% share of the global market for tablets. For the first three quarters of the 2021 calendar year, Apple has shipped 40.3 million iPads, an increase of almost 18% year over year and a 32.5% market share. Cannibalizing this business was an easy choice, however, according to Brady Wang, an analyst at Counterpoint Research:

The scale of iPhone shipments of around 200 million units a year is much bigger than that of iPads. Apple’s most important and critical ecosystems are all surrounding iPhones, its iconic product. To add one more point, iPads do not have that strong seasonality like its flagship iPhones, which are always launched in autumn.

The Wall Street Journal reported exclusively Monday that Apple is prepping a new feature that would have an iPhone or Apple Watch automatically dial 911 in the event of a car crash. Apple has been testing the crash detection feature for a year, “collecting data shared anonymously from iPhone and Apple Watch users,” according to documents reviewed by the Wall Street Journal, “Apple products have already detected more than 10 million suspected vehicle impacts, of which more than 50,000 included a call to 911.”

General Motors’ OnStar subscription has included an automatic crash response feature since 1996, and Google built a crash-detection feature into its Pixel phones in 2019.

Briefly noted:

The Wall Street Journal also reported that Apple made more operating profit from video games than Microsoft, Nintendo, Activision Blizzard and Sony combined in 2019. The cash is generated by Apple’s 30% cut of App Store sales. Apple’s 2019 operating profit from video games totaled $8.5 billion, about 15.3% of the company’s operating profit for the year.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak told Yahoo News on Monday that he “can’t tell the difference” between his iPhone 12 and the new iPhone 13.

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