Apple CFO says the company 'set a new revenue record' selling to businesses -- but the details are vague

IBM programmer ipadIBMIBM programmer works on an iPad.

Apple CFO Luca Maestri told Wall Street analysts on Tuesday that the company is crushing it when selling its technology to business users.

“We set a new enterprise revenue record for the March quarter, and we expect this momentum to continue for the remainder of the year,” he said.

Of course, he never said or hinted at what that revenue number was, so we don’t know what percentage of Apple’s $US52.9 billion was generated by companies buying iPhones, iPads, Macs, or other assorted Apple products, versus consumers.

Apple has been hoping that sales to businesses would beef things up, particularly in lagging areas like iPad sales, and total year-over-year revenue for Apple’s Q1 was up by 5%, the company said.

Keep in mind, too, that the first quarter is not classically the biggest spending season for enterprises. The fourth quarter tends to be. That’s when enterprise sales people are pushing to make their annual quotas and IT folks know they are willing to sharpen their pencils with discounts to close deals.

With that in mind, these are the highlights of Apple’s quarter that Maestri shared with analysts:

  • He quoted research from 451 Research in February that said corporate buyers were 68% intent on buying more iPads for their companies in the June quarter.
  • Volkswagen standardised the iPhone as its corporate smartphone, which means it could buy iPhones for up to 620,000 employees around the world.
  • Capital One is buying Macs for its employees and apparently is also buying them Apple Watches. Maestri didn’t say how many, or what they are using the Watches for, just that they are “empowering their associates with Mac and Apple Watch and over 40 native iOS applications now running on nearly 30,000 iPhones and iPads.” We reached out to Capital One and asked.
  • He described Apple’s partnership with Deloitte, announced last September, as “off to a great start with more than 115 customer opportunities in the pipeline across 15 different industries.” The “pipeline” refers to deals that are not yet signed. But what’s significant is that Apple is now doing the classic approach with enterprises by signing up a big IT consultancy to help it sell products by designing custom apps for them. Deloitte assigned 5,000 people to its new Apple practice, it said.
  • SAP, which has been partnering with everybody lately (Apple, Google, Amazon) released a tool that makes it easier for its 3 million SAP developers to write iOS apps that link its classic business software to iPhone and iPad apps.
  • Maestri also said that Apple’s not-yet-a-year-old partnership with Cisco isn’t just about giving iOS devices a beautiful corporate WiFi experience. Cisco’s massive army of enterprise sales folks are also trying to whip up sales deals, especially in healthcare and financial services.
  • And the enterprise partnership that began it all, the one with IBM, has also made progress. IBM’s program, Mobile First for iOS apps, is now being used by “3,300 client engagements,” according to Maestri. Again, that was somewhat vague, but it appears to mean that over 3,000 business are using some form of iPad/iPhone custom apps created by IBM that are hosted on IBM’s cloud.
  • Meanwhile, IBM just signed a deal to deploy 11,000 iOS devices at Santander Bank, Maestri said. So IBM is definitely out there selling Apple devices.

Here’s a chart that spells out what we do know about Apple’s revenue, which includes sales to businesses and consumers.

Get the latest IBM stock price here.

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