During the earnings call following its quarterly financial results yesterday, Apple made the rather surprising announcement that, beginning in Q1 2019, it will no longer be reporting specific unit sales for iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Apple last adjusted its approach to product unit sales four years ago, when it noted in its Q4 2014 earnings call that the iPod would be moving to a new “Other Products” category, alongside the Apple TV, Apple Watch, and Apple-made accessories such as AirPods, cables, and chargers. While the 2014 move wasn’t entirely surprising in light of the waning popularity of the iPod and the slow rise of the Apple Watch, it’s more interesting that the company will no longer be reporting unit numbers for its flagship products, which are of course the biggest sources of Apple’s revenue.
From the comments , however, it seems that Apple will only stop reporting the numbers for how many units were sold, but will continue to report the overall revenue being driven by each product category. Apple CFO Luca Maestri explained the company’s logic by saying “the number of units sold in any 90-day period is not necessarily representative of the underlying strength of our business” and adding that “a unit of sale is less relevant for us today than it was in the past, given the breadth of our portfolio and the wider sale price dispersion within any given product line” — a fair statement considering the price spread that exists even within the current 2018 iPhone lineup, on top of the fact that Apple is continuing to sell older iPhone models as well, since a “unit sale” could be anything from a 2017 iPhone 7 to a top-of-the-line iPhone XS Max.
Maestri also added that Apple will be renaming the “Other Products” category, which has traditionally included everything that’s not an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or service, to “Wearables, Home, and Accessories,” which he explained should “provide a more accurate description of the items that are included in this product category.” While this will include obvious wearable and home items such as the Apple Watch, AirPods, Apple TV, and HomePod, it’s worth noting that the iPod touch will presumably still be lumped into this category as well, which doesn’t necessarily fit as well, although with the product having last been updated in 2015, it’s probably fair to say that it represents a tiny fraction of sales within that category.