Read Tim Cook’s memo to Apple employees about slowing iPhone sales & other issues

Apple has cut its sales outlook for the first time in over a decade, but CEO Tim Cook has assured employees in an internal memo that he won’t blame external factors for the overall slowdown in iPhone sales in China and a variety of other business issues.

Here’s the memo in its entirety, via Bloomberg:


Happy New Year—I hope everyone was able to rest and enjoy time with loved ones over the holidays.

This afternoon we issued a letter to Apple investors explaining that we are revising our financial guidance for the holiday quarter. I encourage you to read it. As you will see, our revenue shortfall in Q1 is from iPhone, primarily in Greater China.

While we are disappointed to be falling short of our quarterly revenue goal, our fiscal first quarter was also a record setter for revenue from Services, Wearables and Mac. iPad revenue grew double-digits over the year-ago quarter and iPhone activations in the US and Canada set new Christmas Day records. We expect to set all-time revenue records in key markets including the US, Canada and Mexico, Western European countries including Germany and Italy, and countries across the Asia-Pacific region like Korea and Vietnam. Our worldwide installed base of active devices also hit a new all-time high, reflecting the loyalty of our customers and their appreciation for the work you do.

We are tremendously proud of the innovations we’re delivering to our customers with iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. These are, without a doubt, the best iPhones we’ve ever made. We did not set a new record for iPhone sales in Q1, however, due to a number of factors—some macroeconomic and some specific to Apple and the smartphone industry.

External forces may push us around a bit, but we are not going to use them as an excuse. Nor will we just wait around until they get better. This moment gives us an opportunity to learn and to take action, to focus on our strengths and on Apple’s mission—delivering the best products on earth for our customers and providing them with an unmatched level of service. We manage Apple for the long term and in challenging times we have always come out stronger.

With that in mind, please join me for an all-hands meeting on Thursday morning at 9:30am PT. Be sure to check AppleWeb for more details. Due to construction at Apple Park, we’ll be gathering at Town Hall on the Infinite Loop campus. Join us there in person, or via live stream through AppleWeb. I’ll have more details about the quarter, and I’m looking forward to your thoughts and questions.

Hope to see you there.


Cook’s message to troops resonates with the talking points in his open letter to investors from yesterday, which sent the stock sliding by as much as ten percent this morning. Despite slowing iPhone sales, Cook’s memo suggests that the company will set record revenues for the Services, Wearables and Mac segments.

As the memo states, Apple will hold an all-hands meeting with employees later today to assuage any concerns they may have about this whole iPhone situation.

The company will report holiday quarter earnings on Tuesday, January 29.

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