During today's earnings call covering the fourth quarter of 2020, Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked about Apple's payment services, where he said that contactless payment usage could see growth in the United States due to the pandemic, where people are aiming to use cash less and less.

As you can imagine in this environment, people are less wont to hand over a card. Contactless payment has taken on a different level of adoption and I don't think we'll go back. The United States has been lagging in contactless payments and I think the pandemic may very well put the U.S. on a different trajectory there. We are very bullish on this area and there are more things that Apple can do in this space so this is an area of great interest to us.

Cook also said that Apple in general continues to be enthusiastic about payment services. Apple Card is "doing well," and Apple Pay is "doing exceptionally well."

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With many people continuing to learn and work from home, Apple's Mac sales in the fourth quarter of 2020 hit a new all-time revenue record, hugely outpacing sales in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Apple's Mac category brought in $9 billion, up from $7 billion in the year-ago quarter, marking growth of 29 percent. Apple says that sales were up despite supply constraints that the company was facing during the quarter.

Mac sales saw double digit growth in each geographic segment, with all-time revenue records set in the Americas and Asia Pacific, and September quarter records in both Europe and Japan.

Apple's Mac sales may see significant growth in the coming quarter as the company prepares to launch the first Mac with an Arm-based Apple-designed Apple Silicon chip. The first ‌Apple Silicon‌ Mac is coming before the end of the year, and an announcement could take place in November.

Apple's Wearables, Home, and Accessories category, which was previously known as the "Other" category, brought in record revenue in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2020, hitting $7.9 billion, up 21 percent from $6.5 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Apple CFO Luca Maestri said that Apple hit September quarter records in every geographic segment in these categories. Apple's wearables category alone, which includes Apple Watch, AirPods, AirPods Pro, and Beats headphones, is now the size of a Fortune 130 company.

When it comes to Apple Watch sales in September, 75 percent of buyers were new to the Apple Watch, suggesting the Apple Watch is still seeing significant growth among those who have not yet used the product.

Apple during the call announced a new Lumi Health partnership with the government of Singapore, which is an Apple Watch program designed to encourage healthy behaviors.

During today's earnings call for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2020 (third calendar quarter), Cook said that while he doesn't want to give too much away, "this year has a few more exciting things in store."

Cook is likely speaking about the Apple Silicon Macs, as Apple has previously said the first ‌Apple Silicon‌ Mac will be coming before the end of 2020. There are rumors of a third fall event coming in November, which would likely be Mac focused.

There are also other possible products that could be coming, such as the AirPods Studio and the AirTags, though launch dates for these products are less certain than the new Apple Macs and it continues to be unclear if we'll see one or both before the end of the year.

Apple's services category, which includes iTunes, the App Store, Mac App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, AppleCare, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+ and more, continues to see major growth each quarter.

According to today's earnings report covering the fourth fiscal quarter of 2020 (third calendar quarter), Apple's services segment brought in $14.5 billion, up from $12.5 billion in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2019.

Over the course of the last fiscal year, services earned $53.8 billion, up from $46.3 billion in fiscal 2019.

Apple's number of paid accounts reached a new all time high with double digit growth, and paid subscriptions grew more than 35 million compared to last quarter. Apple now has 585 million paid subscribers, up 135 million from a year ago.

Apple has plans to add to its services offerings, with new products coming as soon as tomorrow. Apple One will offer bundles of services like ‌Apple Music‌, ‌Apple Arcade‌, and ‌Apple TV‌+ at reduced prices, while Fitness+ is a new $9.99 per month service that will provide guided workouts to Apple Watch users.

Apple One is launching on Friday, October 30, and Apple Fitness+ is launching later this quarter.

Apple's iPhone 12 lineup launched too late to be included in the Q4 earnings results being shared today, but Apple CEO Tim Cook today said in an interview with CNBC that he's "optimistic" about Apple's ‌iPhone 12‌ sales because of 5G support, carrier promotions, and a loyal install base.

According to Cook, initial data points on ‌iPhone 12‌ sales are "really quite good." During the earnings call, Cook went on to say that the ‌iPhone 12‌ lineup is the strongest lineup that Apple has hard by far. 5G also represents a once in a decade opportunity due to the excitement around 5G technologies. "We're off to a great start," said Cook.

‌iPhone 12‌ sales will be included in Apple's Q1 2021 earnings results rather than this quarter, but Apple declined to provide guidance for Q1 2021. Cook says that Apple again declined to offer guidance due to the ongoing global health crisis leading to a "sufficient level of uncertainty" that's "not an environment to guide into."

Sales in China were down for the year, and were a weak point for Apple. Sales dropped to $7.95 billion, down from $11.13 billion in fiscal 2019. Cook said he's confident that will turn around next quarter.

A larger percentage of China revenue is made up of new iPhones. And so that's the reason the number for the total quarter started with a minus sign. But given what we see in the early going with the new iPhones, we're confident we'll grow in Q1."

Apple today reported record Q4 2020 results with $12.7 billion profit on $64.7 billion revenue, with services revenue hitting a new all time high.

Related Roundups: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro

Apple in September announced Apple One, a new series of services bundles that will let Apple device customers purchase several services together in one package instead of separately, saving money for those who use multiple Apple service products.

Ahead of Apple's earnings call, Apple CFO Luca Maestri told Bloomberg that ‌Apple One‌ is set to launch on Friday, October 30.

‌Apple One‌ Bundle include services like Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, Apple TV+, and more. There are three bundle options:

  • Individual ($14.95 per month) - Includes ‌Apple Music‌, ‌Apple TV‌+, ‌Apple Arcade‌, and 50GB iCloud storage.
  • Family ($19.95 per month) - Includes ‌Apple Music‌, ‌Apple TV‌+, ‌Apple Arcade‌, and 200GB of ‌iCloud‌ storage, with the services able to be shared between up to six family members.
  • Premier ($29.95 per month) - Includes ‌Apple Music‌, ‌Apple TV‌+, ‌Apple Arcade‌, ‌Apple News‌+, Fitness+, and 2TB ‌iCloud‌ storage, with the services able to be shared between up to six family members.

Apple's newest service, Apple Fitness+, is not launching tomorrow but Maestri said that it will be coming later this quarter.

Apple today announced financial results for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2020, which corresponds to the third calendar quarter of the year.

For the quarter, Apple posted revenue of $64.7 billion and net quarterly profit of $12.7 billion, or $0.73 per diluted share, compared to revenue of $64.0 billion and net quarterly profit of $13.7 billion, or $0.76 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Apple set a new record for September quarter revenue, as well as all-time quarterly records for Services and Mac revenue.

Gross margin for the quarter was 38.2 percent, compared to 38.0 percent in the year-ago quarter, with international sales accounting for 59 percent of revenue. Apple also declared a quarterly dividend payment of $0.205 per share, payable on November 12 to shareholders of record as of November 9.

For the full fiscal year, Apple generated $274.5 billion in sales with $57.4 billion in net income, compared to $260.2 billion in sales and $55.3 billion in net income for fiscal 2019.

“Apple capped off a fiscal year defined by innovation in the face of adversity with a September quarter record, led by all-time records for Mac and Services,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Despite the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, Apple is in the midst of our most prolific product introduction period ever, and the early response to all our new products, led by our first 5G-enabled iPhone lineup, has been tremendously positive. From remote learning to the home office, Apple products have been a window to the world for users as the pandemic continues, and our teams have met the needs of this moment with creativity, passion, and the kinds of big ideas that only Apple can deliver.”

As has been the case for the past several quarters, Apple is once again not issuing guidance for the current quarter ending in December, as considerable uncertainty surrounding the global health situation's impact remains.

Apple will provide live streaming of its fiscal Q4 2020 financial results conference call at 2:00 p.m. Pacific, and MacRumors will update this story with coverage of the conference call highlights.

Apple earnings call recap ahead...

1:44 pm: Apple's stock price is down roughly 4% in after-hours trading following the earnings release.

1:46 pm: Apple did just over $9 billion in Mac revenue during the quarter, smashing the previous record of $7.4 billion set in the first fiscal quarter of 2019.

1:48 pm: ‌iPhone‌ revenue at $26.4 billion was Apple's lowest in a September quarter since 2014, thanks in part to the iPhone 12 launch being pushed back into the December quarter.

1:55 pm: Services revenue of $14.5 billion topped Apple's previous record of $13.3 billion from the second fiscal quarter of this year, while iPad revenue of $6.8 billion was the best since the first fiscal quarter of 2016.

2:03 pm: The call should be starting momentarily. There appear to be some technical difficulties with the conference call and stream.

2:03 pm: "Stand by just a moment."

2:04 pm: Call is starting. On the call are Apple CEO ‌Tim Cook‌ and CFO Luca Maestri.

2:05 pm: Turning the call over to Tim.

2:05 pm: Back in April, I said we were in the most challenging environment in which Apple has ever operated.

2:06 pm: Making difficult calls with limited information has not only come to define Apple's year but has been the case for all of us around the world. We've stayed focused on what we do best.

2:06 pm: "Something new, something creative, something better on behalf of our customers."

2:06 pm: This quarter, Apple achieved revenue of $64.7 billion, a September quarter record, despite the anticipated absence of new ‌iPhone‌ availability in the quarter and closures at many of our retail locations.

2:06 pm: Strong double-digit growth in non-iPhone categories.

2:07 pm: Launched new ‌iPhone‌ models in October, later than last year, and up until mid-September, customer demand for ‌iPhone‌ grew double digits. Services saw stronger than expected performance across the board.

2:07 pm: September record in India thanks to launch of online store in that country.

2:07 pm: Beat internal expectations in China, growing non-iPhone revenues in strong double-digits and ‌iPhone‌ customer demand growing through mid-September.

2:08 pm: Pull back to fiscal year, a testament to team's work and resilience of the business in era of COVID-19. $274.5 billion in revenue, growing 6% year over year. All-time yearly records in Mac, wearables and accessories, and services. Grew double-digit in every category outside of ‌iPhone‌.

2:09 pm: We not only launched our most compelling generation of hardware, software, and services ever, but we did it in a way that pushed us to reimagine every part of that innovation process, from how we share these products with the world to how we get them to our customers' hands.

2:09 pm: The team rebuilt every part of the plane while it was midair and the results speak for themselves.

2:10 pm: Cook now praising the retail and customer support teams for being flexible and innovative this year.

2:11 pm: Now talking about the company's anti-COVID efforts, and donations to racial justice fund and other nonprofit work.

2:11 pm: In a typical year, the back-to-school season is a bustling time for us. This year that was true in the biggest way ever.

2:12 pm: Started 9 of 10 school district deployments this year that alone will support more than 1,000,000 students and teachers.

2:12 pm: Looking forward, we feel great optimism about the road in front of us. We're in the midst of the most prolific product introduction period ever. In addition to HomePod mini, we just marked the beginning of a new era for ‌iPhone‌ with the arrival of our first 5G-enabled devices.

2:13 pm: He's now reciting ‌iPhone 12‌ features and benefits.

2:14 pm: And Apple Watch Series 6.

2:14 pm: Government of Singapore and Apple launched a new program to help encourage healthy behaviors with Apple Watch.

2:15 pm: Now Apple One (launching tomorrow) and Apple Fitness+.

2:16 pm: Without giving away too much, I can tell you that this year has a few more exciting things in store.

2:16 pm: I want to offer one more comment on resilience. If I had to describe our quarter in a single word, it's resilient. I don't think this year will be one any of us look back on with great fondness or nostalgia.

2:17 pm: There is the great pain of a lost loved one, the uncertainty and fear of a lost job, and a deep well of concern for people we care about who we are not able to see.

2:18 pm: Teams and colleagues have been leaning on each other more than in normal times. That instinct, that resilience, is an essential part of how we navigate this year. A shared sense of purpose goes a long way. A belief that we can do more together than we can alone. People of goodwill, driven by creativity and passion and that certain itch of a big idea can help people in small ways.

2:18 pm: You never wish for a year like this one, but I could never be prouder of our team.

2:18 pm: Luca coming in to talk more details.

2:19 pm: Fiscal 2020 set new all-time records for revenue, earnings per share, and free cash flow, in spite of an extremely volatile and challenging macro environment.

2:20 pm: Total revenue of $64.7 billion for quarter, up 1% YoY. Very impressive level of performance when we consider that we didn't launch and ship any new ‌iPhone‌ models during the quarter. Outside of ‌iPhone‌, we grew 25% in aggregate and had strong double-digit year-over-year revenue growth in each product category. All-time records for Mac and services, and September quarter record for wearables, home and accessories. September quarter records in the vast majority of countries that we track including US, Canada, Brazil, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Russia, India, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

2:20 pm: Our products, outside of ‌iPhone‌, grew a combined 30% despite supply constraints of Mac, ‌iPad‌ and Apple Watch through the quarter. Through September for ‌iPhone‌, customer demand grew double digits.

2:20 pm: All-time high in aggregate and each major product category for active users.

2:20 pm: $14.5 billion and 16% growth year over year in services.

2:21 pm: 38.2% gross margin, up 20 basis points sequentially due to mix and cost savings.

2:21 pm: Services gross margin was 66.9%, down 30 basis points due to mix.

2:21 pm: $26.4B for ‌iPhone‌ revenue.

2:22 pm: COVID-19 and social distancing impacted store operations, but demand for ‌iPhone‌ remained very strong. Through mid-September, customer demand grew double digits and was well above expectations. Active install base reached new all-time high thanks to exceptional loyalty of customer base and ecosystem. Last survey from 451 Research indicates ‌iPhone‌ customer satisfaction of 98% for 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max combined.

2:23 pm: Services set all-time records in App Store, cloud services, music, advertising and payment services. Also AppleCare.

2:23 pm: New services, Apple TV+, Arcade, News, Card are contributing to user and services growth. Key drivers for services growth continue to be moving in the right direction. Install base continues to grow.

2:23 pm: Number of transacting and paid accounts reached a new all-time high with paid accounts increasing double digits in each geographic segment. Paid subscriptions grew 35 million sequentially.

2:24 pm: Confident to reach and exceed our increased target of 600 million paid subscriptions before the end of calendar 2020.

2:24 pm: Breadth and quality of current services offerings are growing, including ‌Apple One‌ and Apple Fitness+.

2:24 pm: Wearables, Home and Accessories established a new record with revenue of $7.9 billion, up 21% YoY. Records in every geographic segment and each category.

2:25 pm: Wearables business is size of Fortune 130 company. Watch extends reach with 75% of Watch purchasers in September new to the product.

2:25 pm: Mac revenue was an all-time record at $9 billion, up 29% over last year, $1.6 billion above the previous record in spite of supply constraints during the quarter. Strong double digits in each geographic segment and all-time revenue records in Americas and Asia-Pacific and September quarter records in Europe and Japan.

2:26 pm: ‌iPad‌ performance: Revenue of $6.8B, up 46%. Highest September quarter revenue in eight years.

2:26 pm: Both Mac and ‌iPad‌ are incredibly relevant products for our customers in the current environment.

2:26 pm: 93% customer satisfaction for Mac, 95% for ‌iPad‌.

2:27 pm: Active install base for Mac and ‌iPad‌ reached all-time high. In the enterprise market, helping companies grow their business while achieving sustainability goals.

2:27 pm: Now talking about enterprise companies using Apple products to improve operations.

2:28 pm: Turning to cash, Apple ended the quarter with $192 billion in cash plus marketable securities. Issued $5.5 billion in new debt and decreased short-term borrowing facilities by $6.2 billion. Total debt of $112 billion. Net cash of $79 billion.

2:29 pm: $22 billion returned to shareholders. $3.5 billion in dividends and $18 billion of open market repurchases. Retired 3.1 million shares in final settlement of 16th ASR.

2:30 pm: Highlights for fiscal 2020: Revenue grew 6% to $274.5B. Install base of active devices grew in every quarter. Most challenging economic environment we can remember, new revenue records in Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Earnings per share up 10% to all-time record. Delivered innovative products and services.

2:31 pm: Moving to December, some color on what we're seeing: Given continued uncertainty, we will not be issuing revenue guidance for the coming quarter. Expectations for December for product categories... assuming COVID-related impacts are similar to what we're seeing in October. Shipping ‌iPhone 12‌ and 12 Pro... off to a great start. Preorders for 12 mini and 12 Pro Max next Friday. Given tremendously positive response, we expect ‌iPhone‌ revenue to grow during the quarter despite shipping 12 and 12 Pro four weeks into the quarter and the other two seven weeks into the quarter. All other products in aggregate to grow double digits and services to grow double digits. Gross margin to be similar to most recent quarters.

2:31 pm: For operating expenses, between $10.7 and $10.8 billion. OI&E around $50 million, and tax rate around 16%.

2:31 pm: Board of directors declared cash dividend.

2:32 pm: Q&A time

2:34 pm: Q: Shannon Cross - Tim, talk a bit more about China and in terms of linearity, services in all regions was at an all-time high. Give us an idea of whether you're seeing blowback or benefit from Huawei situation, bit more into trends from China.

A: If you look at China, last quarter and this corner, what we saw was our non-iPhone business was up strong double digits for the quarter. ‌iPhone‌, pre-mid September, that period of time which was bulk of quarter, ‌iPhone‌ was growing from customer demand point of view. Not shipping new iPhones for last two weeks of Septemner makes that number in the aggregate a negative.

Net, underlying business in China was strong and perhaps different from what you might think from stated number. In terms of this quarter, given the explanation for last quarter and the momentum that we've got, and as importantly, given the initial data points that we see on ‌iPhone 12‌ and 12 Pro, though we don't guide to revenue, I would tell you that we're confident that we'll grow this quarter in China. We're very bullish on what's going on there. A little more color on last quarter, we had a much more significant inventory drawdown on the channel side than other regions, so that's one reason why numbers are different from other regions. Additionally, the new products in the year-ago quarter were a higher percentage of ‌iPhone‌ sales than in other regions.

2:35 pm: In terms of the market there, 5G is fairly advanced there. We're very confident there.

2:36 pm: Q: Cadence that you see for 5G adoption/launch, what do you see will be the key driver, subsidies in the US at this point?

A: Want the best experience for ‌iPhone‌ users. We've been collaborating with carriers all around the world to ensure ‌iPhone‌ has great throughput and coverage and battery and call quality. Completed testing on more than 100 carriers in 30 regions, so it's pretty pervasive around the world but granted, it will continue to roll out in more places as carriers expand their coverage. It's just going to get better. Obvious places where it's more ahead than others, but we feel like we are entering at exactly the right time.

2:38 pm: Q: Deutsche Bank - Relative to seasonality, over the last 5 years you're up 50% quarter on quarter, can you beat that with later release?

A: Luca: We're not providing a range for the reasons that I explained, keep in mind a couple of things about this quarter versus the past. The launch timing of the phones is different from the past, so we're launching the new iPhones four weeks into the quarter for two models and seven weeks into the quarter for the other two models. Keep in mind with growth rates. With regard to other product categories, we are expecting to grow double digits across the board for the rest of our products and services. We are incredibly optimistic for what we're seeing so far. A lot of tailwinds for ‌iPhone‌ the entire cycle. Best lineup that we've ever had. Installed base that is very large, continues to grow. All-time high. 5G is once in a decade opportunity. In some markets, carrier offers are very aggressive which is very good for consumers and ultimately very good for us. Very optimistic given what we've seen so far.

2:40 pm: Q: ‌Apple One‌ bundle is desire to bundle in the first place. Why wouldn't you take rationale to bundle to hardware? AirPods and ‌iPhone‌ and Watch... wouldn't it make sense to bundle hardware? Are there benefits to services bundling that don't transfer to hardware bundling.

A: Nothing to announce on a hardware bundle. We do view that people like to pay for their hardware, or some substantial portion of it, monthly. That's why we have installments in stores and online, and that's why you see in some channels selling hardware on per month basis. That begins to look like subscription to some buyers because they're used to holding the phone for a fixed period of time and turning it over and using the residual value of that phone in a way that gives them a subsidy on a new phone. Something today in the market that works somewhat similar. On services side, we have customers coming to us and asking for an easier way to buy all of our services and we wanted to provide that. We're looking forward to tomorrow to getting ‌Apple One‌ out there.

2:42 pm: Q: Katy Huberty - Morgan Stanley: New technologies including the chips that support 5G put upward pressure on costs this year but you manage to leave ASP for iPhones relatively unchanged, how should we think about the margin profile of ‌iPhone 12‌ relative to past ‌iPhone‌ cycles?

A: Luca: Obviously we don't provide any outlook at gross margin level for product categories. In my prepared remarks, we expected total gross margin to be pretty much in line with what we see in last quarters. It's very good because we are offering the new phones at price points that are essentially unchanged and we take on a lot of new technologies into the phones. Commodity environment is good, for the first time in many quarters, I don't have to say that FX is a headwind getting into the quarter. Won't be a factor during the quarter. In our comments, we are bullish about sales performance expectations so we should be getting some leverage. Gross margin dynamics are good and it's very good to see that we're able to offer so much more technology and still able to deliver the level of gross margins that investors are expecting.

2:44 pm: Q: Services... this isn't dependent on any one service but licensing and other historically... when you think about Google antitrust pressure that you see shrinkage in licensing and other segments and opportunities to make up for weakness?

A: As you know, we've announced a number of services over the last couple of years. We're ramping those between ‌Apple TV‌+ and Apple News+ and Apple Arcade, Card, Fitness+, we have a number of services that have been launched a bit longer that are doing really well from the ‌App Store‌ to iCloud. There's a lot of room there and potential there. I have no idea how the DOJ suit will go, but I think it's a long way from a conclusion on it.

2:46 pm: Q: On ‌iPhone‌, you talked about ‌iPhone‌ install base high, sat, replacement cycles are getting elongated, if ‌iPhone‌ users are like me with embarrassingly high weekly usage rates, does that give you better clarity that we could enter extensive period of ‌iPhone‌ revenue growth?

A: We're very bullish on this cycle. As I step back from it, we have for the first time ever launched four iPhones and there is an ‌iPhone‌ for everyone there. It is the strongest lineup we've ever had by far. We have a very large loyal and growing install base and we're also reaching out to switchers and I'm very optimistic there. We have a once-in-a-decade opportunity with 5G. Lot of excitement about 5G. We've got aggressive offers in the marketplace. So when I think about all of those, I am really, I look at the initial data points on ‌iPhone 12‌ and 12 Pro, we are off to a great start.

2:48 pm: Q: Services gross margins, are these levels at 67% sustainable and what do you think of 2-3 factors that are enabling gross margin to remain there going forward?

A: Pleased with gross margins in services. Expanded 300 basis points on a YoY basis. Reason for that, of course we are growing services revenue and getting leverage on a lot of these services. Some of it, as explained in the past, we have a portfolio of services that have different margin profiles. Depending on the mix of products, we can see margin expansion through mix as well. But launching new services, where we need to invest heavily up front, show for example that we've launched a lot of new services, made investments and still able to expand gross margin. We feel quite confident about projection that we have for services and we're very happy to see the customer response to really all of them because as we've mentioned earlier, we've seen revenue record across every category. And, across the entire world. September quarter records in every geography around the world. All the dynamics and levers that we have in the services business are working very well here and that translates to margin.

2:50 pm: Q: With ‌iPhone‌ lineup and carrier subsidies on ‌iPhone‌ sales, some other factors. ‌iPhone‌ was seeing a bump with stimulus checks going out, as we see some things on that front, is macro impacting how you see ‌iPhone‌ sales with new product lineup?

A: Prior to mid-September, we were seeing double-digit growth in customer demand on ‌iPhone‌. There is a lot of momentum there. Still a lot of momentum now given the launch of the 12 Pro and 12. If you're asking whether it could have been even more with a different spending environment, I believe the answer to be yes but you can't run the experiment so I don't know for sure. I suspect that just the COVID in general takes something off from a worldwide economic point of view.

2:51 pm: Q: Potentially looking at second wave which you discussed as well in your prepared remarks, some thoughts into how you're preparing or sourcing from supply chain to prepare for disruption like earlier this year?

A: Doing everything we can do. Prioritizing safety first obviously. With our stores, we've come up with a new concept that essentially turns the store into an express store. Helps with safety of employees and safety of customer. Allows interaction to take place. Put more people on the phones because more people are reaching out to us in that way. Online store has stayed up and running through the whole of this. Everybody to the best of their ability is putting in contingency plans and finding a way to adapt to the environment. Difficult to call and there's a level of uncertainty in it obviously.

2:53 pm: Q: Don't want to give color on gross margin by segment, but gross margin should be similar or grow... on ‌iPhone‌ side, how should we think about the different gross margin levels into December?

A: Positive factors in December thanks to leverage sequentially, and improved mix particularly this year with new ‌iPhone‌. At same time, shouldn't forget that we have launched a lot of new products during the last several weeks. Four new iPhones, new Apple Watch, ‌iPad‌, so clearly every time we launch a new product the cost structure is higher so that is the other side of the coin. We think that those two things should balance out and again, we're accomplishing this while delivering a lot of new technologies and features to our customers. FX is not a factor and that's a bit different from the past, but those are the pluses and minuses.

2:55 pm: Q: Didn't say a lot about payments ecosystem, curious to find out from your vantage point for your payments ecosystem for Apple Card, Apple Pay, Apple Cash and how you're finding FinTech environment.

A: We continue to be enthusiastic about payment services area. ‌Apple Card‌ is doing well, and ‌Apple Pay‌ is doing exceptionally well. As you can imagine in this environment, people are less wont to hand over a card. Contactless payment has taken on a different level of adoption and we'll never go back. US has been lagging in contactless payment and I think the pandemic may well put the US on a different trajectory there so we are very bullish on this area and view that there are more things Apple can do in this space so this is an area of great interest to us.

2:57 pm: Q: Supply chain given later start for manufacturing for ‌iPhone‌ lineup this year, will supply be able to meet demand through calendar year and are there component shortages or actions you can take to increase weekly output vs last year?

A: If you look at ‌iPhone‌, we are constrained today. Not a surprise at front end of the ramp, and how long we'll be constrained it's hard to predict. We haven't taken orders yet for ‌iPhone 12‌ mini or Pro Max, so those are coming and we shall see. Right now we are supply constrained and for avoidance of confusion, we're constrained on Mac and ‌iPad‌ and some Apple Watches. A fair number of areas right now of focus and we're working really really hard to remedy those as quickly as we can. At this point, I can't estimate when we'll be out of that.

2:59 pm: Q: How do you think about durability of strength with Mac and ‌iPad‌? Stronger than seasonal pullback after back to school and holiday? Supply constraints make it seem strong demand trends will continue but what should we think about seasonality into December and March?

A: We placed our thoughts in the color that Luca provided when he said that all products excluding ‌iPhone‌ would grow in double digits. We continue to be bullish on what Mac and ‌iPad‌ can do. I think the moves that have taken place to remote learning and remote work are not going to go back to normal. Normal will become something different because I think people are learning that there are aspects of this that work well and I don't believe we'll go back to where we were. I think that means iPads and Macs are even more important in those environments. The growth in both of these last quarter were phenomenal. Mac at 29 and ‌iPad‌ at 46. These are tremendous numbers and as Luca said, the September quarter was the all-time high for Mac in the history of the company and not by a little bit but by $1.6B. A substantial difference. Had an aggressive promotion for college students going back to school and that was invariably part of it but the other part of it, the remote work thing, is not something that's going to snap back to the way it used to be any time soon.

3:01 pm: Q: Gap between 12 and 12 Pro is smaller and that's after you made adjustments?

A: ‌iPhone 12‌ family starts at $699 in many places. Deals that people are really paying are very different than that because a lot of people in this country and several others in the world connect to a carrier plan and those offers are much more aggressive. The price that customer is paying is more important one. We have no data other than 12 and 12 Pro, lack data on 12 mini and Pro Max because we're not taking orders yet. What we always do in pricing is give the customer a great value and we've done that this year despite the extra features that we placed into the phones including 5G.

3:03 pm: Q: Carrier subsidies in the US, in the years ago, carrier incentives were a lot larger but does this represent a shift for carriers into other geographies? Is this something that we expect as they go from switchers or higher incentives from carriers?

A: Don't want to speak for carrier partners. Generally I think it's to the vast majority of carriers around the world to their interests to move customers to 5G and I think it's in the customer's interest to move to 5G. Obviously we like that as well. Situation where everyone is oaring in the same direction. That's a very different kind of situation than normally we would have. It is one of the things that I alluded to that makes me very bullish. The other things are very important too, size of install base, the product lineup, these things are critically important as well.

3:03 pm: We're wrapped up.

Netflix today announced a price increase, which will make the standard and premium plans more expensive, while pricing on the entry-level plan remains the same.

The basic plan that limits quality to standard definition continues to be $8.99 a month, but the standard plan will now be priced at $13.99 (up from $12.99), and the premium plan will now be priced at $17.99 (up from $15.99).

The standard plan lets people watch in 1080p quality and includes streaming on two screens, but those who want to watch 4K Netflix content or watch on up to four screens at a time need to subscribe to the most expensive premium plan.

Netflix previously raised prices in January 2019, raising the cost of the standard tier from $10.99 to $12.99 and the cost of the premium tier from $13.99 to $15.99.

The changes will take effect immediately for new customers who sign up to Netflix, and current customers will see the updated prices on their bills over the course of the next two months, according to CNBC. Customers will get a 30 day warning prior to the price hike.

During the last Netflix earnings call, Netflix COO Greg Peters said that if Netflix is delivering more value for users, then there is "an opportunity to occasionally go back" and ask members "to pay a little bit more."

Tag: Netflix

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are now available in additional countries and regions, including India and South Korea, where the calendar has already turned to October 30 launch day. The devices can be purchased from select retailers, including the Apple Store in South Korea, while online orders are set to begin arriving to customers.

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro launch day in Singapore last week

The full list of countries where the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are launching includes Andorra, Armenia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Greenland, Iceland, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macau, Malta, South Korea, and Ukraine. Carrier Ooredoo has also started accepting pre-orders in the Maldives, with shipments to begin in November.

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro first launched on October 23 in the United States and more than 30 other countries and regions, while the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max will be available to pre-order starting November 6, with shipments beginning November 13.

Key features of the iPhone 12 lineup include a new flat-edge design, 5G connectivity, a faster A14 Bionic chip, a new MagSafe system with easy-to-attach magnetic accessories, improved durability, significant camera upgrades, and more. iPhone 12 Pro models also feature a LiDAR Scanner for enhanced augmented reality experiences.

Update: This article has been updated with a full list of countries where the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are launching on October 30.

Related Roundups: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro

Apple's iPhone 12 models are equipped with more magnets than prior models, featuring a ring of 18 magnets that surround a wireless charging coil to support MagSafe-based accessories. Given the increase in the number of magnets, those with medical devices that can experience magnetic interference such as pacemakers have wondered whether it's safe to use the new ‌iPhone 12‌.

Apple's recently updated iPhone safety information confirms that those able to use earlier iPhones will also be able to use the new ‌iPhone 12‌ models without worrying about increased magnetic interference.

‌iPhone 12‌ magnets image via iFixit

According to Apple, the ‌iPhone 12‌ models do not pose more of a risk of magnetic interference with medical devices than prior models. From the support document:

iPhone contains magnets as well as components and radios that emit electromagnetic fields. These magnets and electromagnetic fields may interfere with medical devices, such as pacemakers and defibrillators.

Though all ‌iPhone 12‌ models contain more magnets than prior ‌iPhone‌ models, they're not expected to pose a greater risk of magnetic interference to medical devices than prior ‌iPhone‌ models.

Apple warns that those who have medical devices consult their doctors and medical device manufacturers for specific details on maintaining a safe distance of separation between medical devices and iPhones. Many pacemakers or implantable defibrillators, for example, need to be kept six inches from devices with magnets, including ‌iPhone‌ and iPad.

Consult your physician and medical device manufacturer for information specific to your medical device and whether you need to maintain a safe distance of separation between your medical device and ‌iPhone‌. There are many types of medical devices, and manufacturers often provide recommendations on the safe use of their devices around wireless or magnetic products to prevent possible interference. If you suspect ‌iPhone‌ is interfering with your medical device, stop using ‌iPhone‌.

Apple's safety warning is applicable to all ‌iPhone 12‌ models, and suggests that the new iPhones are safe for those who have medical implants as long as the proper safety protocols for those devices are followed, with no specific considerations that need to be made for the greater number of magnets in the ‌iPhone 12‌.

Related Roundups: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro

New Macs are on the horizon, with Apple promising to release the first Mac with an Apple Silicon chip before the end of 2020, and Apple's latest macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 beta suggests we could see several Macs updated.

Files in the macOS Big Sur beta discovered by HarckerTech on Twitter point to three unreleased models. The files are located in the /System/Library folder where Apple has bundles that identify different Mac models. Most of these files are for existing models, but MacHardwareTypes-2020f.bundle, MacHardwareTypes-2020g.bundle, and MacHardwareTypes-2020h.bundle are new additions. Two of these files are new to the 11.0.1 beta, while one was added in beta 10.

As pointed out by 9to5Mac, the existing MacHardwareTypes-2019f.bundle and MacHardwareTypes-2020d.bundle point to 16-inch MacBook Pro models (the 2019 model and 2020 model with high-end GPU), while other files are for the 2020 MacBook Air, iMac, and ‌MacBook Pro‌ models. It's not clear if these files are for a single Mac, or three Macs, but there's a possibility for multiples.

Nothing can be learned about the upcoming Macs from these files, but it is further evidence that Mac refreshes are in the works and could be coming before the end of November. Earlier this week, we highlighted a mystery "Personal Computer" found in a Bluetooth product database, which could also be a new Mac.

Apple plans to bring ‌Apple Silicon‌ chips to the entire Mac lineup, but there's no solid word on which Mac will be the first to be updated, or if multiple Macs will get updates at the same time. Apple says it will take a year for ‌Apple Silicon‌ to roll out to all Macs. Rumors suggest a ‌MacBook Air‌, 13-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌, or revived 12-inch MacBook could be the first ‌Apple Silicon‌ Mac, and there are also rumors of a new 24-inch ‌iMac‌ in the works, which could also get an ‌Apple Silicon‌ chip.

There has been speculation that Apple will hold a November event to announce the new ‌Apple Silicon‌ Mac (or Macs), and rumors suggest that event could be held on November 17. If that's the case, we could see an event announcement within the next week or two.

We're tracking a few solid discounts on the AirPods, AirPods Pro, Apple Watch SE, and Apple Watch Series 6 today. Most of these deals are part of early Black Friday discount events, providing new all-time-low prices on all four products.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.


Starting with the AirPods Pro, Woot has the Bluetooth headphones for $194.99, down from $249.00. Although Woot typically specializes in refurbished items, this sale is for a new edition of the AirPods Pro, and it's now the lowest price we've ever tracked.

$54 OFF
AirPods Pro For $194.99

As a quick mention, Walmart today is offering a deal on the AirPods with Wireless Charging Case that should be on your radar if you live in Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, or Pennsylvania. If you do, you can get the AirPods with Wireless Charging Case for just $108.00 on Walmart.com tonight at 7:00 p.m. ET.

$91 OFF
AirPods w/ Wireless Case For $108.00

We typically see the AirPods with Wireless Charging Case down to around $140 in the best sales, so this is a huge discount if you're able to take advantage of it.

Apple Watch

We're also tracking discounts on the new Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 6, across their entire lineups, at both Best Buy and Amazon. Although the discounts aren't particularly steep ($20 off), these are some of the first markdowns we've seen on both editions of the 2020 Apple Watch.

  • Apple Watch SE, 40mm GPS - $259.00, down from $279.00 [Amazon / Best Buy]
  • Apple Watch SE, 44mm GPS - $289.00, down from $309.00 [Amazon / Best Buy]
  • Apple Watch SE, 40mm Cellular - $309.00, down from $329.00 [Amazon / Best Buy]
  • Apple Watch SE, 44mm Cellular - $339.00, down from $359.00 [Amazon / Best Buy]
  • Apple Watch Series 6, 40mm GPS - $379.00, down from $399.00 [Amazon / Best Buy]
  • Apple Watch Series 6, 44mm GPS - $409.00, down from $429.00 [Amazon / Best Buy]
  • Apple Watch Series 6, 40mm Cellular - $479.00, down from $499.00 [Amazon / Best Buy]
  • Apple Watch Series 6, 44mm Cellular - $509.00, down from $529.00 [Amazon / Best Buy]

Be sure to visit our full Deals Roundup to shop for even more Apple-related products and accessories, then head to our Black Friday Roundup to prepare for all the best deals happening next month.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

With the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models introduced in October 2020, Apple reinvented “MagSafe,” a name once used for the breakaway magnetic charging cables designed for the MacBook. The repurposed MagSafe name still pertains to magnet-based accessories, but this time, designed for iPhones rather than Macs.

All of the ‌iPhone 12‌ models have a ring of magnets built into the back around the wireless charging coil that adhere to MagSafe based accessories like cases and chargers, and this guide outlines everything you need to know about MagSafe.

How MagSafe Works

MagSafe uses a ring of magnets in the ‌iPhone 12‌ models to connect to accessories that also have magnets built inside. So, for example, Apple’s MagSafe Charger snaps right on to the back of an iPhone, much like a magnet snaps onto a refrigerator.

Cases are the same way, snapping onto the magnet ring built into the ‌iPhone‌. The design of the magnet ring allows the ‌iPhone 12‌ models to be compatible with a whole range of accessories that rely on magnets, from chargers to mounts to cases.

The Magnet Ring Inside iPhones

‌iPhone 12‌ models have a ring of 18 rectangular magnets arranged in a circular shape located underneath the wireless charging coil in each device, which is what allows the MagSafe magic to happen.

Image via iFixit

Older iPhones had the same wireless charging coil, but no magnets underneath to allow for magnetic connections.

MagSafe Charger

The MagSafe Charger looks something like a larger Apple Watch Charging Puck with an aluminum body and a soft white material at the top of the charger. The charger snaps onto an ‌iPhone 12‌ with magnets inside, perfectly aligning the charging coil in the MagSafe Charger with the charging coil in the ‌iPhone‌.

Image via iFixit

Repair site iFixit took apart a MagSafe Charger and did an x-ray to show us the charger’s internal design. As with the ‌iPhone‌, there are a series of magnets inside that are compatible with the magnets in the ‌iPhone‌ that surround an internal charging coil and a circuit board that manages the charging process.

Getting 15W Charging Speeds

Achieving 15W charging speeds requires Apple’s 20W power adapter or another appropriate 20W+ PD 3.0 charger. Testing with Apple’s prior-generation 18W iPad charger and a 96W MacBook Pro charger proved that those power adapters do not allow the MagSafe Charger to reach the full 15 watts.

The same goes for many existing third-party power adapters, which also do not have the proper charging profile. New chargers from third-party companies may, however, include support for the MagSafe Charger, and testing indicates that to provide the 15W charging speed, a MagSafe Charger needs to support Power Delivery 3.0 at 9V 2.22A.

You’re guaranteed to get 15W with Apple’s $19 20W power adapter (this power adapter also comes with the 2020 iPad Air models), but you may also be able to use a third-party charger as long as it meets those specifications.

MagSafe Charging Speed

With the MagSafe Charger, it takes about an hour to charge an ‌iPhone 12‌ from zero to 50 percent, which is double the time that it takes to charge using a USB-C to Lightning cable and a 20W+ USB-C power adapter.

Charging with the MagSafe Charger is faster than charging with a Qi-based charger, which maxes out at 7.5W, but for the fastest charging you’re still going to want to use a wired charging connection with a Lightning to USB-C cable.

When the ‌iPhone‌ is warm, charging speeds can be throttled down, and Apple warns that if the ‌iPhone‌ gets too warm, charging will be limited above 80 percent. Apple recommends moving your ‌iPhone‌ and charger to a cooler location if it feels overly warm.

MagSafe Charging Animation

When you place a MagSafe Charger on a compatible ‌iPhone‌, the ‌iPhone‌’s display will feature a MagSafe charging animation with a MagSafe-like shape on the screen along with a readout of the current ‌iPhone‌ charge.

Using the MagSafe Charger With Older iPhones

Using the MagSafe Charger with older iPhones is possible, but not recommended because charging is slower than with the 7.5W Qi-based chargers. Charging appears to be capped at right around 5W with the MagSafe Charger when paired with older devices, and in testing, the MagSafe charger has proven to be slower than using a plain old Qi charger.

MagSafe vs. USB-C

Testing suggests the MagSafe Charger charges the ‌iPhone 12‌ less than half as fast than a wired 20W USB-C charger. With the 20W charger, a dead ‌iPhone‌ was able to charge to 50 percent in 28 minutes, and the same 50 percent charge took an hour over MagSafe.

MagSafe Cases and Accessories

Apple has designed cases, wallet attachments, and a MagSafe Charger to use with the MagSafe iPhones, and third-party case and accessory makers are also creating MagSafe-compatible products. We have a guide highlighting some of the available MagSafe accessories that you can purchase.

MagSafe Don’ts

  • Avoid putting single use cards like hotel cards against the magnet in the ‌iPhone‌ or the MagSafe Charger
  • Don’t put credit cards, security badges, passports, or key fobs between the ‌iPhone‌ and MagSafe Charger because magnetic strips and RFID chips can be damaged
  • Don’t charge with the MagSafe Wallet attachment on the ‌iPhone‌ (cases can remain on)

MagSafe Charger Warnings

When using the MagSafe Charger, Apple warns that it can leave an imprint on the Leather Cases designed for the ‌iPhone 12‌ models, which is something to be aware of. It can also leave a mark on Silicone cases based on reports from MacRumors readers, and it’s possible that this will affect third-party cases made from soft materials as well.

Cleaning the MagSafe Charger

Apple recommends cleaning the MagSafe charger with a soft, lint-free cloth. Abrasive cleaning cloths need to be avoided, as do cleaning agents. Apple recommends against excessive wiping, which could cause damage, and says that bleaches and aerosol sprays shouldn’t be used.

MagSafe Chargers can be disinfected with a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or a Clorox Disinfecting Wipe, as long as no moisture gets in any openings.

Guide Feedback

Have questions about MagSafe or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

A collection of discounts have hit the Powerbeats, Powerbeats Pro, and Beats Solo Pro accessories this week. These new sales are providing early Black Friday pricing on the Powerbeats Pro at $90 off.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

This means you can get the Powerbeats Pro for $159.99, down from $249.99 in select colors. On Amazon, this price is available in Lava Red, Moss, and Spring Yellow.

$90 OFF
Powerbeats Pro for $159.99

Similarly, the Solo Pro headphones are seeing a new all-time-low price of $169.99 in Red, Light Blue, and Dark Blue on Amazon. For both headphones, other color options are also being discounted, but they're not quite as steep as these prices.

$130 OFF
Solo Pro for $169.99

Below we've highlighted each of these deals in a list, focusing on Amazon's sales. If you prefer other retailers, you can find these discounts across a number of retailers, including Apple and Best Buy.

Keep up with all of this week's best discounts on Apple products and related accessories in our dedicated Apple Deals roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Apple and Amazon are set to face antitrust scrutiny in Germany over a policy that forbids independent sellers from retailing Apple products on Amazon, Bloomberg reports.

Germany's antitrust regulator, the Federal Cartel Office, has launched a probe into Apple and Amazon over the policy of "brandgating." The policy allows the makers of branded products, such as the iPhone, to have independent sellers removed from the retail platform, providing Amazon can sell the items instead.

"Brandgating agreements can help to protect against product piracy," the Cartel Office said in a statement. "But such measures must be proportionate to be in line with antitrust rules and may not result in eliminating competition."

Amazon responded, saying it never removes the sales permissions of sellers without sound reasons, and it invests heavily to protect customers from the illegal distribution of goods. The company has agreed to cooperate with the investigation.

The Cartel Office said that Apple is a "prominent" example of how Amazon conducts brandgating, which can purportedly take various forms. Amazon has only permitted Apple authorized vendors to sell Apple products on its platform since 2019. Amazon simultaneously became an Apple authorized vendor.

"The safety of our customers is our first priority, and our teams are constantly working with law enforcement, resellers, and e-commerce sites around the world to remove counterfeit products from the market," Apple said in a statement. "We work with Amazon to protect our customers from counterfeit products and provide confidence they are receiving a genuine Apple product out of the box."

The two companies have been investigated for similar accusations in the past, such as allegedly blocking the sale of Apple and Beats devices from resellers in order to stifle competition and fix prices.

Apple and Amazon are among the big tech companies under scrutiny around the world, particularly in the European Union, where a new Digital Services Act is poised to hit big tech with wide-reaching regulations.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Apple Maps now provides transit directions in many populous regions of Italy, expanding upon existing support in Rome. The feature can be accessed by selecting the Transit tab or button in Apple Maps on iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch.

Supported modes of transportation include trains, buses, trams, and more in and between cities such as Milan, Naples, Turin, Palermo, Genoa, Florence, and Venice.

Google Maps has supported transit directions for several years now, but Apple Maps is steadily catching up with detailed routing information. Apple maintains a list of regions where transit directions are available on its website.

(Thanks, Turret!)

Amazon is back today with a discount on Apple's brand new iPad Air. You can purchase the 64GB Wi-Fi model for $559.00, down from $599.00. This same deal appeared before the tablet even launched last week, and disappeared fast, so be sure to head to Amazon soon if you're interested.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

This sale price is only available in the silver and green colors, and the tablet won't ship for between two to four weeks due to high demand. Still, if you order today you can lock in the $40 discount price and Amazon will ship the tablet once it's available in November.

$40 OFF
2020 iPad Air For $559.00

The iPad Air was announced last month, and it has an edge-to-edge 10.9-inch display, Touch ID power button, a brand-new A14 Bionic chip, new color options, and more. For even more iPad deals, head to our full Best Deals guide for iPad. In that guide we track the best discounts online for iPad, iPad mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pro.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals