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Tim Cook says Apple set Christmas Day activations record for iPhones in US and Canada

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Softening the blow of Apple’s revised Q1 estimate

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Hot on the heels of Apple cutting its Q1 forecast due to weaker-than-expected iPhone sales, Apple CEO Tim Cook has released a memo to employees, obtained by Bloomberg, that tries to soften that blow. In it, he notes that, despite the lower numbers, “iPhone activations in the US and Canada set new Christmas Day records” for the company.

The internal memo further reinforces Cook’s original statement that the $9 billion shortfall in revenue was due to the iPhone underperforming in China. Cook elaborated that “we expect to set all-time revenue records in key markets including the US, Canada and Mexico, Western European countries including Germany and Italy, and countries across the Asia-Pacific region like Korea and Vietnam.”

While Cook’s note points out that the number of iPhones activated on Christmas Day is an all-time high for the company, there’s no information on the breakdown of which models those were. It’s entirely possible that those phones could have been largely made up of older, cheaper models like the iPhone 7, iPhone 8, or even the discontinued iPhone X, and not the newer (and more lucrative) iPhone XS and XR.

The news may be a bit of a silver lining for those concerned about Apple’s future, but even if US and Canada sales are doing better than ever, it’s clear that Apple’s global presence is going to be a far bigger factor of its success going forward.