iPhone sales are down, ahead of uncertain times for the industry

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Apple device sales have taken a hit, but the company’s services are doing swell. The iPhone, the longtime cornerstone of the company’s hardware portfolio, hit $28.96 billion in revenue for Q2, down from $31.1 billion from this time last year. The iPad and Mac lines saw drops for the quarter, as well.

The company had already sounded the alarm bells for a weakened demand, due to the growing threat of COVID-19. Way back in February, Apple noted that the coming pandemic was set to both impact the global supply chain and weaken demand in China. “All of our stores in China and many of our partner stores have been closed. Additionally, stores that are open have been operating at reduced hours and with very low customer traffic,” it said at the time.

While aspects of life have returned to normal in China, the virus has subsequently delivered a huge hit to much of the rest of the world, including Apple’s home in the U.S., which continues to lead the world in COVID-19 cases.

Unsurprisingly, CEO Tim Cook struck a consolatory note in a press release, in spite of the company’s decision not to offer third-quarter guidance. “Despite COVID-19’s unprecedented global impact, we’re proud to report that Apple grew for the quarter, driven by an all-time record in services and a quarterly record for wearables,” he writes.

Wearables were, indeed, up. The category, which also includes home and accessory products like the HomePod, was up to $6.3 billion from $5.1 billion. The category continues to be a success on the strength of the Apple Watch and AirPods lines. Services, too, continue to grow steadily, up to $13.3 billion from $11.5 billion. That category seems to be a reasonably safe bet, as users turn to offerings like Apple Music and Apple TV+ during the ongoing stay at home period.

The future for smartphones continues to be a rocky one, going forward. The company recently introduced the SE in a bid to appeal to consumers put off by $1,000+ price tags. And Apple’s certainly not alone there. The entire industry has taken a hit in recent years, well before the arrival of the novel coronavirus.

Apple and other companies were expected to get a boost from the arrival of 5G, though everything is currently up in the air due to the pandemic. That reportedly also includes the arrival of a 5G iPhone, which is said to have potentially been pushed back a month over supply chain issues.