What Apple's results tell us about the future

The electronics giant is focusing its efforts on their Services business.

Apple Inc
Apple Inc website

As the world's largest company, Apple's results from the quarter ended July 1 tell us a lot about where the world is going.

In short: Apple is already working on a processor devoted specifically to artificial intelligence-related tasks. The electronics giant is innovating towards this future and focusing its efforts on their Services business.

Here's a quick look at Apple's most important businesses and explore what the data points from the present indicate about the future.

iPhone: The company sold just more than 41 million iPhones in the quarter ended July 1, a 1.6 percent increase from a year earlier and generally in line with analysts' estimates.

And the company has already announced a product that will go on sale this holiday season. Apple is likely to introduce iPhone 8 in early September.

The high-end iPhone will include an organic light-emitting diode screen, and inadequate OLED supplies mean that it will not be as readily available as the cheaper handsets at launch, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with the plans.

Services: Apple's Services business, which includes App Store, iTunes, Apple Music, was up 22 percent year-on-year to $7.3 billion in the third quarter.

According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the company's Services category is the size of a Fortune 100 company, a milestone Apple hit "sooner than expected."

Apple often attributes much of the growth of its Services category to the App Store, and that continues to be the case this quarter.

This revenue is very important as mobile devices become less important and Augmented Reality-capable wearables become the dominant computing devices.

iPad & Mac: The biggest surprise was a revival of the iPad business, and the continued momentum of the Mac, which both had waned in recent years as consumers shifted more money into smartphones.

Mac sales rose 6.7 percent, the third consecutive quarter of gains, while iPads avoided a fourth consecutive quarterly slide with 1.9 percent growth.

For the first time in 14 quarters iPad shipments increased, rising 15 percent to 11.42 million units amid strong sales to schools and businesses.

Other Key Metrics: Sales in Greater China, which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan as well as the mainland, fell 9.5 percent from a year earlier to $8 billion. The biggest decline came in Hong Kong.

CEO Tim Cook is preparing to release Apple's first new hardware category since 2015. The HomePod, the smart speaker will go on sale in December.

The results indicate how Apple is investing heavily in developing new technologies at a time when smartphone sales have turned sluggish.

Cook has over the past 18 months repeatedly said how excited he is about the prospects for Augmented Reality.