Apple reported record revenue and profit when it reported first fiscal quarter earnings on Tuesday.
iPhone sales were up. Mac sales were up. Apple had a great quarter.
One notable category, however, that Apple saw significant annual declines in, was in “others,” a catch-all category where Apple lists sales of products like the Apple Watch, various accessories and dongles, Beats headphones, and the Apple TV.
That category got crushed. It was down 8% from the same time last year, despite a recent Apple Watch launch and new headphones that went on sale during the quarter.
Apple Watch wasn’t the reason it fell — Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Apple Watch set company records for unit sales and revenue, although he declined to share either figure.
It turns out at least one reason why Apple’s “others” revenue was down was the Apple TV. The Apple TV saw a year-over-year decline in sales, Apple CFO Luca Maestri told the Financial Times.
My colleague Dave Smith recently outlined why the Apple TV has been a disappointment from a product perspective: While the hardware is capable, the overall experience is muddy, confusing, and bad, he wrote.
It sounds like the general public has had a similar response to the black box. To return the product line to growth, it now looks like Apple will need to release a new version.
Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted at larger television ambitions during the call. “We’ve come a long way in a year and it gives us a platform to build off of,” he said of the $149 device. “We are learning a lot about the original content business and thinking about ways we could play it.”