How many other companies sold 18,455,000 PCs and tablets last quarter? Sales of PCs and tablets are declining everywhere, not just at Apple. These results look pretty good in that environment. Microsoft Surface revenue was actually down 2% last quarter YOY.
I wouldn't rule out creative accounting, or actual fraud. The leaks, the analysts, the press, all said Apple was moving less product. Now Apple self-reports "all-time records" left and right.
It amazes me that some people are so strongly steeped in the anti-Apple bandwagon that they sooner believe they're committing fraud than that their products are actually popular - despite being able to walk outside their house for a few minutes and see a dozen people using one.
> than that their products are actually popular
At the same time, they have recently had a couple quarters where they were down year-over-year, so there is definitely incentive.
As to whether they would ever deceive investors... Apple is usually more ethical than your average company, but they have had lapses in judgement before (eg: just google for Apple and "backdating", "antipoaching", "EU consumer law"), so I don't rule anything out.
That said, I have a little regret posting that comment, since it's pure speculation, possibly tinfoil-hat territory.
I don't get the MBPTB backlash, I ordered one 2 days after they announced it and I would absolutely not go back to my previous MB Air or swap to my wife's 1-year-old rMBP. I never touch type on the function row anyway so having to look down is a non-issue and at least now I can customise the bar to do what I want rather than what Apple prescribe.
> All the bad press you are talking about is pretty tiny news
> the MBPTB backlash
The fact is, most people are not going on sensationalist tech blogs at all, and those that do are mostly not swayed by articles or nerds on the internet telling them what they can and can't buy. Other people think more independently than people like to believe (there's probably a name for this fallacy), it's just hard for some people to understand that someone else could have different priorities.
Those articles and comments are for and by people who have mostly already made up their mind. Blogs preach to the choir. People read and upvote things that confirm the beliefs they already had. Android fanatics will continue to screech about the lack of a headphone jack on the iPhone or full size USB on the Mac regardless, and weren't ever going to buy one anyway.
Yeah, the headphone jack removal probably put some people off the iPhone 7, even I admit it's an inconvenience and has been annoying. But despite all the bad press, it's just not, overall, the world ending problem that reddit/Hacker News would have you believe.
I won't pretend Apple has never broken the law or acted immorally, but profit and sales reports aren't like anti-poaching agreements. They have to go through so many people who can catch or oppose them, are so regulated, and are so directly and unambiguously illegal, that there's virtually no chance Apple is deliberately and directly falsifying them.
The "Apple Hype Peaked; nowhere to go but down" and "Does [decision or product] prove Apple as lost its way?" articles are pretty much the canonical lazy tech-journalist's go-to piece when there's nothing else to write.
I say this as a longtime Apple fan who is reluctantly concluding they're moving away from me (don't like the new laptops, don't like paying RAM markups, don't care about always-on voice, etc.)
If you think Apple is lying, I'd strongly encourage you to start shorting now - that won't stay secret long, and you'll make a bundle!