Apple watchers are always looking for signs of decline in Cupertino, and there have already been some contenders for that decisive turning point in the company’s fortunes. But on Tuesday, the company offered a pretty solid one. Reporting its second-quarter earnings for the year, Apple revealed that it fell short of most analyst expectations and saw a decline in year-over-year quarterly revenue for the first time since 2003—from $58 billion a year ago, to $50.6 billion now.
Apple did top estimates of iPhone shipments, moving 51.19 million during the quarter even though analysts only expected 50 million. But this still represented a decline from the 61.17 million shipped in the second quarter of 2015. The company’s stock was down more than 7 percent in after-hours trading.
Although Apple CEO Tim Cook told CNBC that the company’s executives “feel good” about the Chinese market, revenue for “Greater China”—mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong—was down 26 percent to $12.49 billion compared with $16.82 billion a year ago. Revenue was down everywhere year over year except in Japan. Unit sales also declined for most products, including the iPad and Macs.
Without a star product to succeed the iPhone, it was inevitable that Apple’s winning streak would eventually falter. The company has been relying on growth markets like China for the past few quarters to continue setting year-over-year records. But for now at least, the word record is off the table for Apple.