Apple’s services slowdown in Q3 potential concern for investors

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California on Monday, June 4, 2018.

Josh Edelson | AFP | Getty Images

For over half a decade, Apple has been touting its services business as a growth engine that will make up for smart phone saturation and provide healthier profits to investors.

That story may be losing some of its potency.

In its quarterly earnings report on Thursday, Apple beat on the top and bottom lines. But the services business was a weak spot in an otherwise better-than-expected report. The unit grew 12% from a year earlier to $19.6 billion, trailing the $19.7 billion average analyst estimate, according to Refinitiv.

It was also the slowest growth rate since the fourth quarter of 2015 for the services unit, which includes Apple Music, iCloud storage, App Store revenue, Apple Pay and

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