It’s that time again: that special point in the calendar when super-rich tech companies reveal exactly how much more rich they’ve become in the preceding three months. And thanks to the magic combination of making software to aid remote working, and things that can be bought in brick-and-mortar shops, Apple, Google and Microsoft have all benefited both from global lockdowns and the end of them.
Apple made the biggest splash, recording the biggest Q2 earnings in the company’s entire 45-year history. Which is no mean feat for a company that’s more valuable than some countries’ entire GDP.
In all, Apple made $21.7 billion profit between April and June – a rise of 93% year on year. Total revenue was $81.4 billion, mainly led by iPhone 12 sales which grew 50% on this time a year ago. But services – think Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple News and many other nouns with the word “Apple” in front of them – grew 33% to hit $17.5 billion too.
But it wasn’t all good news, with Apple executives taking time out from browsing sports cars and property to warn that the end of the year isn’t likely to be as impressive thanks to the global chip shortage finally catching up with the company.
“We expect supply constraints during the September quarter to be greater than what we experienced during the June quarter,” the company’s chief financial officer Luca Maestri told investors. “The constraints will primarily impact iPhone and iPad.”
Boasting almost as impressive figures for the quarter was Alphabet, the somewhat obscure parent company of the omnipotent Google. The business recorded revenue of $61.8 billion, up 62% on this time last year. Profit was even closer to Apple, with the company recording a grand total of $18.5 billion, double what it posted a year ago.
Anybody who knows how Google makes its money will be unsurprised to hear that the majority of this came from search and advertising, though Google Cloud and ‘Other Bets’ also increased their take too.
Last, but certainly not least given the sheer quantity of money involved, was Microsoft. The company posted revenues of $46.2 billion, up 21% year-on-year. Impressively, profits rose a massive 47% to hit $16.5 billion, too. Microsoft’s strong numbers were driven by software that helps remote work: Intelligent Cloud jumped 30% from where it was a year ago, while business apps (Office, LinkedIn and the like) grew by 25% too.
While ‘rich companies get richer’ may not be the most surprising of headlines, it is remarkable that all three companies – dinosaurs in tech terms with a combined age of 114 – show no signs of ‘doing a Yahoo’ after so many years at the top.