Apple, Facebook report increase in earnings at the end of 2020
Apple and Facebook reported strong earnings from the last three months of 2020 on Wednesday when they released their quarterly earning reports.
Facebook reported a total revenue of $28 billion in the last three months of 2020, a 33 percent increase from the same period last year.
"We had a strong end to the year as people and businesses continued to use our services during these challenging times," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement. "I'm excited about our product roadmap for 2021 as we build new and meaningful ways to create economic opportunity, build community and help people just have fun."
Apple reported an all-time record revenue of $111.4 billion in the last three months of 2020, up 21 percent from the previous year.
“This quarter for Apple wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless and innovative work of every Apple team member worldwide,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “We’re gratified by the enthusiastic customer response to the unmatched line of cutting-edge products that we delivered across a historic holiday season.
It is Apple’s first quarterly report released since launching its iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max products near the end of last year.
Facebook attributed its strong last quarter in part to a shift toward online commerce.
Throughout 2020, when much of the world was pushed to connect virtually amid coronavirus lockdowns, Facebook saw an average of 1.84 billion daily active users — an 11 percent increase from the year before.
Facebook said it faces challenges regarding ad targeting in the new year, specifically citing Apple’s new iOS 14 update. Apple’s new operating system limits the reach of targeted ads, and Facebook has repeatedly criticized the move.
Microsoft on Tuesday also reported an increase in revenue. The company reported $3.1 billion in revenue, up 17 percent from the same period last year.
“What we have witnessed over the past year is the dawn of a second wave of digital transformation sweeping every company and every industry,” Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft, said in a statement. “Building their own digital capability is the new currency driving every organization’s resilience and growth. Microsoft is powering this shift with the world’s largest and most comprehensive cloud platform.”
Amazon and Google are set to announce their quarterly financial reports next week, and Twitter is set to do so the week after.
Facebook allowed the president of Honduras to artificially inflate the appearance of popularity on his posts for nearly a year after the company was first alerted to the activity. The astroturfing – the digital equivalent of a bussed-in crowd – was just one facet of a broader online disinformation effort that the administration has used to attack critics and undermine social movements, Honduran activists and scholars say. Facebook posts by Juan Orlando Hernández, an authoritarian rightwinger whose 2017 re-election is widely viewed as fraudulent.
If former President Donald Trump manages to get back on Facebook and Instagram this month, his win will rest on a series of close calls. Facebook’s oversight board is expected to rule in the coming weeks on whether to uphold or overturn Trump’s indefinite suspension from the platforms, which the company imposed after the Jan. 6 Capitol riots over fears he might incite further violence. So far, the panel of scholars, lawyers and other outside experts has bucked Facebook’s judgment in five of the six decisions it has rendered.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook joined the chorus of business leaders who have come out in support of voting rights in light of voting restrictions Georgia’s governor signed into law last week.
Donald Trump has launched a new website celebrating his time as US president that includes a very selective retelling of the history of his time in office. 45office.com is billed as a platform for his supporters to stay in touch and a place where Trump will continue his “America first” campaign. The centerpiece of the site is an 885-word history of the Trump presidency, listing the achievements of what it describes as “the most extraordinary political movement in history”. It says he dethroned political dynasties, defeated “the Washington establishment” and “overcame virtually every entrenched power structure”.