Apple’s tough compare was the wrong compare

Did iPhone sales fall 16% last quarter, or did they grow 17%?

I’ve posted the interactive chart below at the urging of long-time reader Joseph Bland, who believes the wailing and gnashing of teeth over last quarter’s iPhone sales were misplaced.

“It’s nuts to compare Apple year over year,” he wrote after Tuesday’s earnings report. His point is that Apple releases iPhones on a two-year cycle—the iPhone year and the iPhone S year—and sales growth the second year is never as big as the first.

Check it out:

He’s right. The year-over-two-years comparison makes a lot more sense. It also makes Tuesday’ result—the so-called tough compare—look a lot less tough.

The quarters of triple digit growth, however, are not likely to return. At least not for the iPhone.


  1. Tom Sidla said:
    That’s awesome. Good idea Joseph. (Sacto?)

    This “tough comp” crap is getting annoying. Especially since the period of high growth wasn’t rewarded with a high growth multiple.

    April 29, 2016
  2. Tom Sidla said:
    Attention PED:
    Mr. Dewitt, I love your work here. Just a few suggestions though. It would be a lot funner if the “comments” we’re more “social”. For instance, Joseph replied to my comment, but I didn’t know it. It’s fun to know when someone replies- typically via email notification. Then the conversation could continue. Also, a “like” button with a notification would be fun. Enable notifications and I bet this comment forum will light up. With your pay wall things should stay civil. But heck, sometimes even arguments are good.

    (Not sure how else to communicate to you Mr. Dewitt.)

    April 30, 2016

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