Apple Reports 1 Billion “Active” Devices

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In Apple’s Q1 ’16 “Earnings Supplemental Material” – documentation added to today’s earnings primarily to highlight how foreign exchange rates are impacting revenue – there was another notable figure revealed: Apple says now its “active” install base has reached 1 billion devices. (Actually, it has surpassed it, says CEO Tim Cook.) That figure includes iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod touch, Apple TV and Apple Watch devices that have been engaged with Apple’s services over the past 90 days, the company explains.

If this 1 billion number sounds vaguely familiar, you may recall that it was around this time last year that Apple announced it had sold 1 billion iOS devices.

This new 1 billion figure is an update on that. Devices sold is one matter, devices being actively used is another. In fact, many people take issue with companies that only report on devices sold or shipped, saying they don’t represent an accurate picture of real-world usage. That’s more true, of course, for companies that sell through third-party resellers or distributors who don’t necessarily move all the product they’ve bought from the company – meaning it doesn’t wind up in the hands of consumers.

That’s less of problem for Apple, which does a good bit of its business by selling direct to consumers through company stores and its robust online store, however.

Still, a figure that speaks to devices actually in use is valuable when it comes to analyzing Apple’s real-world footprint.

Note also that the 1 billion figure stated today goes beyond iOS to include the entire Apple product line, including its newest hardware, the Apple Watch and the fourth-generation Apple TV unveiled last fall.

“Our team delivered Apple’s biggest quarter ever, thanks to the world’s most innovative products and all-time record sales of iPhone, Apple Watch and Apple TV,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, in a statement. “The growth of our Services business accelerated during the quarter to produce record results, and our installed base recently crossed a major milestone of one billion active devices.”

Contributing to this milestone, in large part, were Apple TV and Apple Watch. Apple’s “Other products” category recorded $4.35 billion, up from $2.7 billion a year ago, or a 62 percent increase in revenue year-over-year.