In May 2023, Apple faced challenges including WGA strikes, quarterly results, and AirTag attention. Despite these challenges, layoffs were avoided. The quarterly report showed a 3% year-on-year revenue drop to $94.3 billion, with iPhone revenue growing to $51.3 billion and Services rising to $20.9 billion. Mac, iPad, and Wearables, Home, and Accessories revenue all dipped. Tim Cook mentioned a challenging macroeconomic environment, despite an all-time high of active devices in the installed base. Apple returned over $23 billion to shareholders and announced a $90 billion share buyback program extension. In the conference call, Cook highlighted Services growth, with Apple reaching 975 million paid subscriptions, up from 900 million in Q4 2022.
Meanwhile, major companies were laying off workers, but Apple insisted there were no mass layoffs planned at the company. Although layoffs weren’t on the table, Apple had been slowing down hiring and cutting contractor roles earlier in the year. However, not every tech company fared well, as Meta had its third round of layoffs, affecting 6,000 employees.
Rumors about the Apple Vision Pro, a long-rumored mixed-reality headset, were circulating as WWDC approached. In June, it was revealed that the Apple Vision Pro was indeed a real product. The WGA strike also affected Apple TV+ productions, causing disruptions to filming schedules for shows like “Loot,” “Severance,” and “Ted Lasso.”
AirTag also made headlines in May, as law enforcement used it to combat car thefts. The NYPD distributed 500 AirTags to residents in the 43 Precinct, which had a high rate of car theft. Meanwhile, two Chicago men were arrested for an armored truck robbery after an AirTag hidden in a money bin tracked the stolen cash to their hideout. Apple and Google announced plans to work together to prevent AirTag misuse for stalking, garnering support from other industry players.
Overall, May was a month of challenges and significant events for Apple, from financial results and employment stability to product launches and law enforcement applications of AirTag technology.