Interesting post from Jeff Johnson:
Apple stated that Q1 FY2017 was an all-time record for quarterly
revenue. The media dutifully and mostly uncritically spread this
“great” news for Apple. But the headlines were fake news.
Technically the claim is true, the revenue was an all-time record.
True but misleading. Although Apple didn’t lie as such, you might
say there was a sin of omission, and a definite spin of the facts.
Most Apple fiscal quarters are 13 weeks long. Once in a while,
however, they need a 14 week quarter. You might call it a “leap
quarter”. There was a good explanation of this financial practice
a few years ago in Slate. Apple’s Q1 2017 was a 14 week quarter,
for the first time since Q1 2013.
Adjusted for the extra week, Apple actually had another down quarter. I’m surprised I didn’t hear more about this when results came out. I don’t think it’s quite right to ding the quarter by a full 8 percent — the entire last week started with Christmas day — but surely some sort of correction is necessary for year-over-year comparisons.
Update: Jason Snell on the “leap” week:
But, for better or for worse, the window we get into Apple’s
finances is based on its financial statements — and that means
the quarters as Apple defines it. This was a record quarter for
Apple. But it’s also fair to point out that Apple’s definition
gives it a one-time windfall, an extra week of sales that it won’t
get again for another few years. And it’s a windfall that next
year’s year-over-year holiday-quarter comparison will have to
overcome in one fewer week.
★ Friday, 3 February 2017