Apple boosted by streaming services despite lockdown

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Apple saw growth for the first three months of the year, as falling device sales in China were offset by demand for its streaming services due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Sales climbed to $58.3bn (£46.2bn), up from $58bn in the same period in 2019 and beating expectations of $54.5bn.

Apple boss Tim Cook said the firm saw a “record for streaming” and “phenomenal” growth in the online store.

He added that “China is headed in the right direction”.

Despite the coronavirus lockdown hurting iPhone supply due to Chinese factories closing, and a drop in demand for devices in China – a major market for Apple – during February and March, Mr Cook told investors in an earnings call on Thursday: “I don’t think I can remember a quarter where I’ve been prouder of Apple.”

Apple said iPhone sales for the quarter fell 7.2% to $28.9bn, compared to $31bn in the previous year.

However, its wearables, home and accessories division – which produces the Apple Watch and AirPods – rose 22.5% to $6.3bn, while services – such as subscriptions to Apple Music and Apple TV – jumped 16.6% to $13.3bn like-for-like.

Although business in China has not fully rebounded, Apple said all of its stores in the country had reopened by mid-March and sales were improving.