Apple: How fast did ‘Services’ grow last quarter?

Faster than Apple’s other revenue streams, according to these 25 analysts.

Why do we give two shakes about Apple’s Services, that grab bag of cash generating operations that includes, according to a self-referential footnote in Apple’s quarterly reports, “revenue from Digital Content and Services, AppleCare, Apple Pay, licensing and other services”?

We give two shakes because with the growth of Apple’s installed base, this once sluggish cash source has swelled to become Apple’s second biggest revenue stream after the iPhone—bigger than the iPad or Mac—and its fastest growing.

How fast did Services grow last quarter? The 25 analysts I’ve heard from so far—18 pros and 7 independents—turned in Services revenue estimates ranging from $7.4 billion to $8.3 billion (up 17% to 31% year over year). Average increase: 20%.

To see how that compares with previous quarters, click on “Year over year growth” in the chart below.

Not seeing the nifty interactive chart? Try the website.

Below: The analysts’ individual estimates, pros in blue, indies in green.

services estimates q4 2017

Click to enlarge. 

We’ll find out who was closest to the mark on Thursday, when Apple is scheduled report its earnings for the final quarter of fiscal 2017. Tune in here about 30 minutes after the markets close.


  1. Fred Stein said:
    It’s nice to see the numbers validate what many of us have been saying for over a year.

    Nice to see the step up in Services for Q1 FY16 and 17. Predict a step up in Q1 FY18?

    October 30, 2017
    • Robert Paul Leitao said:

      Absolutely. Services revenue will deliver yet another big quarter of double-digit growth in FQ1 2018. The iPhone 8 series handsets and the iPhone X scream out for Services consumption. The Apple TV 4K is a phenomenal portal for iTunes content.

      October 31, 2017
  2. David Drinkwater said:
    The best thing about Services IMNSHO is that it is so low cost. There is, of course, development, which requires people, but there is little to no hardware, inventory, transportation cost, etc., hence it is very high margin – and yet it is very real – very much a part of the iOS UX that sets Apple apart from the competition.

    October 30, 2017
  3. Robert Paul Leitao said:
    Services revenue growth not only illustrates the strength of Apple’s eco-system, it also validates Apple’s strategy of producing only high quality products and the importance of creating the “whole widget.” Services often work seamlessly across devices. This creates a “value added” that encourages the ownership of multiple Apple devices, each with specific purposes, yet each device adds value to all other Apple devices the consumer owns.

    Services such as Apple Music, for example, can be shared across devices and even shared with family members. This diminishes the perceived cost of the service and increases the perceived value. It’s no wonder Apple’s Services revenue is rising quickly.

    October 31, 2017

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