During Apple’s Q3 earnings call on Monday, finance chief Peter Oppenheimer declined to offer analysts his take on the economy:
“…We’re going to leave economic commentary to others but we didn’t see any obvious impact to the business in the June quarter,” he said.
The Company’s operations and performance depend significantly on worldwide economic conditions and their impact on levels of consumer spending, which have recently deteriorated significantly in many countries and regions, including without limitation the United States, and may remain depressed for the foreseeable future. For example, some of the factors that could influence the levels of consumer spending include continuing increases in fuel and other energy costs, conditions in the residential real estate and mortgage markets, labour and healthcare costs, access to credit, consumer confidence and other macroeconomic factors affecting consumer spending behaviour. These and other economic factors could have a material adverse effect on demand for the Company’s products and services and on the Company’s financial condition and operating results. (Emphasis hers.)
“The last time Apple used the word depressed in any of its filings was back in December 2003, when it used the word to describe its own sales, so it’s hard to chalk this up to an accidental insertion,” Leder notes.
This is one of the reasons Apple has projected an abnormally weak outlook for Q4. “We’re certainly aware of the economic environment and we’ve considered it among other factors in preparing our guidance,” Oppenheimer said during the company’s earnings call.