On Her Majesty's Secret Services

Apple reports second quarter results
Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2024 second quarter ended March 30, 2024.

Tim Cook did not bury the lede in the press release for Apple's Q2 results:

“Today Apple is reporting revenue of $90.8 billion for the March quarter, including an all-time revenue record in Services,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

Services. Services. Services. Services. Before "AI, AI, AI, AI, AI" was the talking point (and before "5G, 5G, 5G, 5G, 5G" for that one year), Services was the thing. And credit to Tim Cook for the foresight to focus there, as it's saving Apple's earnings now. As I've been arguing, I believe this is a large part of the reason why Apple can't just lay down their arms and give in to some of the demands to overhaul the App Store. They literally can't afford to right now with that business the only reliably growing aspect of the company.

Services needs to bridge Apple to "what's next". And with the car project now dissolved, all eyes turn to foldables, wearables, and, longer-term robots.

Of course, the eyes right now are focused elsewhere, quite literally: Vision Pro. How's that working out as the next big thing™?

“During the quarter, we were thrilled to launch Apple Vision Pro and to show the world the potential that spatial computing unlocks. We’re also looking forward to an exciting product announcement next week and an incredible Worldwide Developers Conference next month. As always, we are focused on providing the very best products and services for our customers, and doing so while living up to the core values that drive us.”

What's most telling in that statement is what's not there. As in any sort of numbers. Hell, we don't even get a nebulous claim that it's selling well. Just the highest level sentence that they're "thrilled" to get it out the door. I'm not sure how thrilled they actually should be. And this release certainly doesn't dissuade me of that opinion. Nor do the Wearables results, which are down 10% year-on-year despite the launch of this brand new product.

One more thing: it seems pretty clear that a bunch of outlets misread/misheard some comments Cook made about Apple's forthcoming iPad event next week, indicating Apple might have some exciting things to share about AI. Apple clearly had these stories corrected to instead indicate that more news on those front would come at WWDC in a few weeks, undoubtedly to try to set expectations that next Tuesday's event will not be focused on AI. You can imagine Wall Street might not like sitting through an iPad event and hearing almost nothing about AI...

I can't tell if this makes that rumored M4 chip less likely or not...