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.
Four months after former President Donald Trump was banished from most mainstream social media platforms, he returned to the web last Tuesday with “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump,” essentially a blog for his musings. A week since the unveiling, social media data suggests things are not going well. The ex-president’s blog has drawn a considerably smaller audience than his once-powerful social media accounts.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, continuing his ongoing feud with most of the “corporate media,” on Thursday signed into law a contentious election bill during an event where only Fox News was allowed to observe.
Veteran GOP pollster Frank Luntz warned that former President Trump’s repeated assertions that the 2020 presidential election was rigged against him could hurt Republican efforts to take back the House in 2022. Luntz noted in an interview on the New York Times podcast “Sway” released Thursday that “more than two-thirds of Republicans believe that the election was stolen,” warning that a widespread and unproven belief that there was rampant fraud last November could turn Republicans off from voting in the midterm elections.
The Facebook Oversight Board is a “Supreme Court” for Facebook. On Wednesday, it acted like it — issuing a finely grained ruling that punts the hardest question posed to it back down for Mark Zuckerberg to deal with. The issue before the board, was whether to uphold Facebook’s indefinite ban of Donald Trump’s account following his role in inciting the January 6 riot at the Capitol. It was, by far, the most hotly anticipated decision in the Oversight Board’s young existence. Since the company referred the case to the board on January 21, it received over 9,000 public comments on the matter.