Apple Inc. was saved in its last earnings report by an unlikely hero, and the same dynamic may show up in the tech giant’s holiday earnings. Macs posted record revenue of $11.5 billion that was more than $2 billion ahead of expectations in the September quarter, making up for a shortfall in Apple’s
iPhone sales. Apple may be looking for a boost from its white knight yet again when it reports holiday-quarter results Thursday afternoon, since its iPhone business has faced supply disruptions amid COVID-19 shutdowns in China.
Apple has made Mac refreshes a key priority, infusing its lineup with its own custom chips that bring improvements in speed, battery life, and more. While makers of personal computers generally saw surging sales at the beginning of the pandemic thanks to the remote-work craze, Apple’s improvements have kept the Mac business roaring even as peers like HP Inc.
have seen big slowdowns. Opinion: The PC boom and bust is already ‘one for the record books,’ and it isn’t over Another record quarter may not be in the cards for Apple this time. Management’s own outlook called for Mac revenue “to decline substantially” from a year before, and analysts tracked by FactSet expect the company to post $9.4 billion in Mac revenue for the December quarter, 13.5% below its sales from a year earlier. That year-ago period benefited from a MacBook Pro launch. Still, revenue of that magnitude would be Apple’s fourth highest on record for the category, despite the lack of a big product refresh, and there could be room for upside on Macs again this quarter. Morgan Stanley analyst E …