Apple CEO Tim Cook 'Optimistic' About iPhone 12 Sales, Early Data 'Quite Good'

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.

iphone 12 colors lineup
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

Top Rated Comments

psxp Avatar
12 weeks ago
Boosted sales of 20w usb c adapters too.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
twocents Avatar
12 weeks ago
Wait till full 12 lineup is available. Mini and Max will hands down win over respective target audiences. great stuff
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BuddyTronic Avatar
12 weeks ago


What happened to the unequivocal "super cycle" that analysts were forecasting? This seems like a rather lukewarm public statement from Tim.

Apple hasn't really been big on the "super cycle" talk - that's all. iPhone 6 was a real super cycle year though and the super cycle this year is real too. Late iPhone launch makes it tough to compare quarters year over year though. Apple did mention that they are 4 weeks delayed (iPhone 12 and 12 pro) and 7 weeks delayed (for iPhone 12 pro max and mini). Nevertheless, the next quarter is the big one. China is going to be buying up a lot of iPhone 12 Pro Max units. The iPhone line up has something for everybody.

The fiscal Q4 Apple just reported ended Sept 30th - that's BEFORE the new iPhone's were being sold. So there is no sales data of new model 12 iPhones in today's quarterly report - perhaps you did not realize that. So the talk of "Super Cycle" is coming in the Christmas quarter (Apple fiscal Q1). And even that quarter will present difficulties for year over year comparison, because of the delay. Get it?

Every year people make remarks that doubt they can sell iPhones, but every year has been a record revenue breaker. The iPhone super cycle this time will become apparent in several months time like the end of April!. You'll know it's happening though.

Quarterly YOY comparisons are becoming difficult. It used to be that one quarter had 2 more days in it than the other and that was enough to make a billion dollar difference in YOY (Year over year) comparisons. Now with the covid delay on the new iPhone's, it's going to take some thought to consider the truth. Analysts probably won't take that into account properly - when do the analysts ever get it right?

Attachment Image
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Baymowe335 Avatar
12 weeks ago
iPhone 12 is and will sell like hot cakes.

Don’t be fooled by quarter over quarter compares that have product release timing differences. iPhone 12 wasn’t baked in at all in this quarter’s results.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
I7guy Avatar
12 weeks ago


It's better to be humble and give a positive surprise than the other way around.

Better to overdeliver and undersell than the other way around, what you are suggesting.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BuddyTronic Avatar
12 weeks ago


Tim knows better than use superlatives with only 2 weeks of data.

He might give a "nod" to the supercycle in April earnings call - but he shy's away from the SuperCycle talk. I say this because I've listened to every earnings call for years.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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