Apple set another Q4 record, but shortages are costing it billions

Apple has announced the financial results for its fourth fiscal quarter of 2021, revealing another record-setting quarter with Mac and Services revenue clocking in with new all-time highs. During that same time period, Apple says it raked in $83.4 billion in quarterly revenue, a 29-percent year-over-year increase. The results weren't entirely good news, however, as Apple struggles to deal with supply issues.

Overall, the company's fiscal fourth quarter was a major one for the company, finishing off what has been an overall solid year for Apple. The company boasts double-digit growth over the past fiscal year, including multiple new revenue records across product categories and geographic segments, according to Apple CFO Luca Maestri. Beyond financials, Apple also saw a new all-time high for the number of active, installed devices.

In a statement about the financial results, Apple CEO Tim Cook said:

This year we launched our most powerful products ever, from M1-powered Macs to an iPhone 13 lineup that is setting a new standard for performance and empowering our customers to create and connect in new ways. We are infusing our values into everything we make — moving closer to our 2030 goal of being carbon neutral up and down our supply chain and across the lifecycle of our products, and ever advancing our mission to build a more equitable future.

Despite the record revenue, the September quarter wasn't entirely in Apple's favor. Cook recently spoke with CNBC, revealing that ongoing supply issues cost the company billions of dollars during its fiscal Q4. The quarter ended up coming in lower than Wall Street expectations and, Cook says, that can be blamed on the supply problem impacting its Mac, iPad, and iPhone product lines.

According to Cook, Apple estimates that supply constraints cost the company around $6 billion during the fiscal year's last quarter. The key issue revolves around continued chip shortages, which have impacted major tech companies around the globe. Among the issues are ongoing disruptions in the manufacturing industry across Southeast Asia, Cook noted, though the problem wasn't enough to prevent the company from setting another record.

By all accounts, Apple could be looking at a very strong first fiscal quarter for 2022 across the Mac line, a potential that is driven by the company's newly launched M1 Pro and M1 Max models. However, the possibility remains that the current chip shortages and manufacturing issues may again put a crimp in Apple's game, and its Q1 2022 quarter may face lost billions similar to its September period as a result.