Reacting to Apple’s “sigh of relief” quarter (Macworld/Jason Snell)

Sometimes, it’s all about expectations. Apple’s second financial quarter of 2023, whose results were announced Thursday, was a bit like a movie with bad word of mouth—but then you see it, and it wasn’t that bad. In fact, maybe it was… good? Sort of?

Or, to put it another way, when the economy looks shaky, it’s awfully nice when one of the most valuable companies in the world generates $94.8 billion in revenue and a $24.2 billion profit—even if it’s down slightly from the same quarter a year ago. After ringing a lot of warning bells three months ago, Apple’s business still seems pretty solid. If this is what a weak quarter looks like, Apple’s as blue-chippy as a blue-chip company could be.

As always, amid the numbers and Apple’s traditional phone call with financial analysts, there are a few nuggets to be gleaned about what Apple’s doing and what Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri are thinking. I’m just here to chew gum and mine nuggets, and I’m all out of gum.

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