Apple's second quarter earnings report showed a company that is still enormous and still enormously profitable, but whose sales and profits are declining across the board — revenue fell 10 percent year-on-year in the Americas, 5 percent in Europe, 26 percent in China, and 25 percent in the rest of Asia, way too much to be offset by a 24 percent increase in Japan.
What's particularly striking about this, as Benjamin Mayo of 9to5Mac noted, is that Apple simply hasn't had a down quarter in so long that proclaiming each quarter to be a "record" has become a dull routine.
A word is missing from Apple's press release title today. pic.twitter.com/fv2Niabgd0— Benjamin Mayo (@bzamayo) April 26, 2016
Proclamations that this means we've reached "peak Apple" are probably premature. It's not rare for companies as a whole to have down stretches and up stretches, and the fact that Apple is falling now doesn't mean they can't rise to new heights in the future.
But this quarter's earnings do show that the endless ascent the company's been on since the introduction of the iPhone has come to an end. People still love their iPhones, but Apple's already sold enough of them that it's going to take something more than business as usual to push them to new heights.