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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell

A Back Page: The Absurd Analyst Call

Photo by Apple

Once every three months, I have the self-inflicted privilege of producing a complete text transcript of Apple’s post-results conference call with a gaggle of financial analysts. I used to type it all out by hand, but these days I use an automated transcription service and just edit that so that it makes sense.

But this week, something strange happened. A whole portion of the call, which I never heard with my own ears, somehow ended up in the transcript. Did it happen after the rest of the world dropped off the line? Was a microphone left on? Did the automated transcription pick up words that were inaudible to human ears? I don’t know how it happened, but the results are downright unbelievable:

Operator: All righty, here’s Carol Manalist from Research Group.

Carol Manalist: Tim, Luca, congratulations on the big quarter. I was wondering, could you give any more detail on which iPhone models are the most popular? How are the more expensive Pro phones selling compared to the regular iPhone 12 models? And does it vary across region?

Tim: Carol, this is Tim. We’re really bullish on the iPhone. The iPhone 12 is selling really well. In the U.S., we have the top three selling models. In the UK we have four out of the top five. In Australia we have the top two. It goes on like that. Name a country.

Manalist: I’m sorry?

Tim: Name a country and I’ll tell you how we’re doing.

Manalist: Uh. Okay. China?

Tim: We’ve got the top two phones in urban China! Boom. We’re doing great.

Manalist: Right, but that’s not what I asked. I was wondering about which models are doing the best and where.

Tim: That’s not a follow-up. Can we have the next question?

Operator: Okay, let’s go to Dom Minbari from Fingerling Capital.

Minbari: Thanks, and congratulations on another record quarter.

Luca Maestri: Thanks Dom. What’s your question?

Minbari: Also, Tim, congratulations on all the Macs you sold. That’s great.

Tim: This is Tim. Thanks, Dom. We’re bullish on the Mac. What’s your question?

Minbari: Yes, sorry. I’m looking at your guidance for the next quarter, and how you predict that you’ll be supply constrained on the iPhone. Can you give me some color on the feature set of the iPhone 13?

[long pause]

Tim: Well, Dom, as you know, we don’t comment on future products.

Minbari: Of course. I’m just asking, if your iPhone shipments are going to be constrained, what phone exactly will be the one that’s constrained? What processor will it have? What are the camera specs?

[It sounds like Cook turns away from his microphone as he attempts to stifle a laugh.]

Luca: Can we have the next question please?

Operator: We’ll go to Aldon Cashmoney from Bank of America.

Cashmoney: Tim, you talked about your installed base. I was curious if you could help us understand how old that installed base is and how phone upgrades are happening.

Cook: This is Tim. First of all, it’s difficult to answer your question precisely. But what I would tell you is on both switchers and upgraders, we did extremely well. And so we’re really pleased with it. And so the net is, very strong switchers, very strong upgraders, best upgrade quarter for the June quarter that we’ve seen. And we feel really great about the momentum.

Cashmoney: Fair enough. Uh, if you were an iPhone 13, what features would you have and when would you be announced?

Luca: I’ll take this one. If I were an iPhone I wouldn’t be answering ridiculous questions like that.

Tim: That was Luca, by the way. Could we have the next question?

Operator: This is Bob A. Bouie, of the First National Bank of Your Mom.

Bob: Hi Tim, Luca, congratulations on the big quarter. Aneyefonethurtensezwhat?

Tim: Bob, this is Tim. I’m sorry, we didn’t hear that. Can you repeat the question?

Bob: An iPhone 13 says what?

Tim: Okay, we’re done here. This was Tim.

Operator: A podcast of today’s call will be available for 90 days on Apple Podcasts. A transcript of today’s call will be available in about ten minutes at Six Colors. A dramatic re-enactment of today’s call will be premiering on Apple TV+ at midnight eastern on Friday, August 20.

[Your regular Back Page columnist is on assignment. He will return next month, hopefully.]


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