When Apple delivered its second-quarter earnings report yesterday afternoon, expectations weren’t as high as they have been for the last couple of years. Given the anticipated slowdown in iPhone sales, it was clear that the company would struggle to continue its run of sustained revenue growth. And what a run it has been: Between April 2003 and December 2015, Apple’s revenue grew on a year-over-year basis for 51 consecutive quarters. During these 13 years, the company’s revenue grew from $1.5 billion in Q3 2003 to a record of $75.9 billion in the 2015 holiday quarter.
All good things must come to an end eventually and Apple’s streak ended last night (or in the past quarter for that matter). The company reported revenue of $50.6 billion for the three months ending in March, a 13 percent decline over last year’s March quarter. Blaming the weak results at least partly on the “macroeconomic environment”, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook remained positive on his company’s outlook, calling the downturn a “pause in our growth”. That pause will carry on for at least three more months though, as Apple’s guidance suggests a similar decline in revenue for the ongoing fiscal quarter.
This chart shows Apple's year-over-year revenue growth rate since fiscal year 2003.