For the second quarter running, Apple executives this week talked up the growth of the company's services category in an attempt to highlight the earnings potential of the devices now in customers' hands.
"The services business is powered by our huge installed base of active devices, which crossed 1 billion units earlier this year," CEO Tim Cook said during the Tuesday earnings call with Wall Street. "Those 1 billion-plus active devices are a source of recurring revenue that is growing independent of the unit shipments we report every three months."
Cook's comments were an abbreviated version of the argument that Apple's CFO, Luca Maestri, made in January during that month's call about the December 2015 quarter. At the time, Maestri spent significant time delving into services -- a category that included revenue from iTunes, the App Store, AppleCare, iCloud, Apple Pay, licensing and other services -- and trumpeting Apple's ability to earn money from current customers.
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