Tim Cook writes memo to staff about future of iPhone after shock Apple announcement

Memo stresses successes away from handset's struggles in China

Andrew Griffin
Friday 04 January 2019 15:50
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Introducing the Iphone XR

Apple boss Tim Cook has written to staff after the company made a shock announcement over its iPhone sales.

The company said this week that it was due to miss expectations after selling far fewer handsets than it had expected, particularly in China. The announcement led the company's share price to plunge dramatically, and led to concerns about the future success of the phone.

But Mr Cook's letter to staff suggests that there are a range of successes for Apple away from its Chinese and iPhone troubles, pointing to a range of different business that continue to grow.

And he said that he is confident the company's current run of iPhones – the XS, XS Max and XR – are "without a doubt, the best iPhones we’ve ever made". But they were not setting sales records, he wrote, "due to a number of factors — some macroeconomic, and some specific to Apple and the smartphone industry".

He also suggested that the company would nonetheless make changes to its business to respond to the new difficulties.

Mr Cook said Apple was "disappointed" revenue shortfall, according to the memo first shared by Bloomberg.

But he said that the same difficult quarter had set records for its services, wearables and Mac business, that the iPad had grown substantially and that in the US and Canada Apple had seen the most Christmas day activations of iPhones ever in 2018. He also said the company expected revenue records in a range of markets, including the US, Germany and Italy and other parts of east Asia.

Despite those successes, the difficulties would encourage Apple to make changes in the future, he wrote.

"External forces may push us around a bit, but we are not going to use them as an excuse," he wrote. "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. "

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