Cook: Apple TV Had ‘Huge First Day’

Apple isn't sharing sales figures on the new Apple TV, but the company's latest streaming and gaming device enjoyed a “huge first day,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said Tuesday on the company’s fiscal fourth quarter earnings call.

Apple began to take orders on the new, more apps-friendly Apple TV lineup (the 32 GB version sells for $149; a 64 GB edition costs $199) on Monday (October 26).

Cook also reiterated Apple’s view that “apps represent the future TV,” a position that’s shared by the cable industry as the FCC mulls whether to move ahead on new set-top security rules aimed at spurring the retail market for  devices that can support MVPD TV services. 

Before announcing the new Apple TV, the company had shipped more than 25 million previous generation versions of the platform.

Cook said Apple sold more than 300 million total devices over the past 12 months, including 231 million iPhones and 55 million iPads.

Apple still isn’t breaking out sales of the Apple Watch, which has become an app target for several MVPDs , programmers and OTT players.  Cook said the Apple Watch, which now supports more than 13,000 apps  is still in the “very early innings,”  but said sales are ahead of expectations. He said Apple also expanded distribution of the connected wearable, noting that the Apple Watch is now available in about 5,000 locations in 32 countries.

Apple also posted record fourth quarter sales of iPhone,  even as sales of the iPad continue to decline. Apple sold 9.8 million iPads, versus 12.3 million a year ago.

Cook said Apple Music now has more than 15 million individual and family acocunts and about 6.5 million paying subscribers.

During the call, Apple was asked about growth rates that trial rivals such as Google.

Apple is guiding for growth of 8% to 11%, with Cook emphasizing an increase in “Android switchers” the potential for the iPhone in emerging markets, and 25% growth in the App Store in Q4. Another bright spot is the enterprise market, where Apple pulled in revenues of $25 billion in its fiscal Q4, up 40% from the year-ago quarter.

With respect to Android switchers, Cook said of consumers who bought iPhones in the last quarter and were replacing their smartphone, 30% had swapped over from an Android device.  “That number is the largest that we’ve ever recorded since we began measuring it three or so years ago,” he said.

Apple posted a Q4 profit of $11.1 billion ($1.96 per share), up 31%, on revenue of $51.5 billion, up 22%, driven by iPhones sales. Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.88/share on revenues of $51 billion.

Apple shares were down 4 cents (0.03%) to $114.51 each in after-hours trading Tuesday.