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This is Business Live from BBC News
with Alice Baxter and David Eades.
Another record quarter for Apple,
but is the Silicon Valley
giant still on track to become
the world's first
trillion dollar company?
Live from London,
that's our top story
on Friday second February.
Apple reports another
bumper set of numbers -
but is the winning streak set
to continue despite
a drop in iPhone sales?
And the UK Government hails
a successful trip to China,
but at home the Prime Minister faces
some tough questions.
We'll hear from Theresa May later
in the programme.
European shares have opened
flat to slightly lower
following a mixed session in Asia.
It's been another roller-coaster
week for Bitcoin.
We'll guide you through the highs
and lows with our technology
guru Rory-Cellan Jones.
Today, we want to know -
as the Premier League Football TV
Rights auction looms once more -
would you pay more to keep
watching the footie?
Let us know.
Just use the #BBCBizLive.
We start in Silicon Valley
where the giants of the technology
world have been reporting
their latest results.
The biggest of them all -
Apple - has been hailing
its best ever quarter.
That mean's it's edging ever closer
to becoming the world's
first trillion dollar tech company
by stock market value.
Let's show you the numbers
because they are staggering.
Apple made revenues
of more than $88 billion
in the three months to the end
of December, the all important
holiday shopping season.
20 billion of that was profit.
That was up 12.6%
on the previous year -
setting a new earnings
record for the firm.
Apple sold 77.3 million
iPhones in the quarter.
That was down slightly
on last year -
raising concerns the iPhone's
popularity is waning.
But remember - many sales
were of the more expensive
and profitable iPhone X
and we should put this in context -
according to research just out,
global sales of all smartphones
were down 9% in the quarter -
the biggest fall ever -
as the market gets saturated.
Revenues are up 13% because the
iPhone tent is more expensive.
Some analysts might be worried the
iPhone which is two thirds of the
revenue could be stalling. If that
keeps going up, the company remained
In terms of selling the hardware,
there is a saturation point being
breached and it is worse for other
mobile phone makers. That does drive
Apple towards having to depend on
It has to make this work. Services
was 10% of revenue, usually a larger
proportion. This quarter it is high
because of Christmas. Apple is
building its services business with
230 million active sub --
If there is a risk, where is it?
Where do they think we have to watch
that over the horizon?
Apple is the biggest smartphone
maker by revenues, the biggest risk
is augmented reality, things like
Google Glass, a pair of glasses with
artificial intelligence, you can
voice activate it. It is a
smartphone in your head. If Apple do
not invest heavily to become a
leader in augmented reality, it
could fall, just as Nokia did with
The race to the $1 trillion value
mark, what about Apple versus
Amazon? Amazon are flying at the
It is 850 billion now. Alphabet and
Google aren't far behind, neither
Because they have all the
characteristics that give them the
strength to grow in five years, that
is because if you look at the tech
themes, boys, cloud, artificial
intelligence, automation, you need a
certain number of characteristics to
be successful. Cloud infrastructure,
a high number of users, they each
have 800,000. And you need cash to
They all have it.
Thank you very
Let's take a look at some of
the other stories making the news.
Japan's financial regulator
has raided the offices
of the crypto-currency exchange
They say they were checking
their systems following last week's
cyber attack which saw
the firm lose more than $500
million of virtual assets.
The regulator said security gaps
in Coincheck's systems were among
the reasons it didn't have
approval to operate.
Shares in the toymaker Mattel have
fallen sharply after it reported
a surprise loss of $252 million
in the last three months of 2017
which includes the all-important
Sales of its best known
brand Barbie were up.
However, overall sales fell
because of children's growing
preference for video
games and electronics
over traditional toys.
Europe's biggest investment bank
Deutsche Bank has reported a loss
of almost $1.7 billion in the last
three months of last year.
The bank says it was heavily
affected by Donald Trump's US tax
reforms and actually made a pre-tax
profit of more than $1.6 billion
for the year as a whole.
It's been trying to restructure
itself after years of losses.
The British Prime Minister
is concluding her three-day visit
to China where the UK has signed
trade deals worth around
$13 billion and reportedly creating
around 2,500 jobs.
At home, though, she's
coming under increasing
pressure over Brexit.
Our political editor
Laura Kuenssberg spoke
to her in Shanghai
and asked her about
with Europe and the world.
My choice is very simple.
We take back control of our money,
we take back control of our borders,
we take back control of our laws.
We want that free trade agreement -
we negotiate a free trade agreement
with the European Union.
We want that to be on as
tariff-free and frictionless
a basis as possible.
That will be good for jobs the UK,
but that also gives us the freedom
to negotiate and to sign up trade
deals around the rest of the world,
and that's good for prosperity
and jobs and people in Britain too.
That was Theresa May speaking to our
Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg
at the end of her three day
visit to China.
The two countries have
pledged to intensify
a "golden era" in relations
between London and Beijing.
Robin Brant is in Shanghai.
If you look at the figures in terms
of trade, still more of a bronze era
and a golden era.
China seems to be the world's
biggest economy. Only the UK's
eighth biggest export market, so
there is a huge room for
improvement. A nation of 1.4 billion
people, and ever growing middle
class, the potential is huge. The UK
and thinks it is impossible from an
economic point of view to avoid
that. She has come here on this trip
and will be content heading home.
Trade deals of $13 billion from
companies like BP, Aston Martin. She
has had reassurances from China
whatever happens with Brexit, they
believed the relationship with the
UK and China will not change. For
China, there is an eye on deepening
the strategic longer term plans.
Asian markets swung around on Friday
with some recovering from early
losses but traders remaining on edge
as US Treasury yields
rise to four-year highs.
In particular, Tokyo stocks closed
lower on worries over the US economy
as investors dabbled in a bit
of profit taking amid a number
of corporate earnings and mindful
of some upcoming US jobs data.
This comes after equity traders
around the world having been firing
on all cylinders in recent months,
sending markets to record
or multi-year highs.
So a slight cooling off on global
markets now in evidence.
All eyes will be on the jobs numbers
today as the labour department
will release its employment report.
In December the number
of new jobs created had come
in well below forecast,
but in January it is expected
to have risen to 180,000.
The unemployment rate is not
likely to have changed.
It's expected to remain at 4.1%.
It's held at that level
since October, the lowest
it's been in 17 years.
The commerce department will release
data for factory orders in December,
and those are expected to have gone
up compared to a month earlier.
In corporate earnings,
major companies from the energy
sector will be reporting results.
Profits at oil producer Exxon Mobile
are expected to have gone up by 18%
in the last quarter of 2017.
Chevron is also likely to post
a strong performance.
Lawrence Gosling is editor in chief
of Investment Week magazine.
is good to see you. Another big
market story, the head of the US
Federal reserve, officially her last
day in office. As I said, equity
markets have been running at a pace,
the UK economy has been doing very
well. Donald Trump has been taking
credit. If you had to share the
awards, what would you say?
Donald Trump has been in for only 12
months, but she has headed the
Federal reserve for a lot longer.
What has driven things is
quantitative easing. She has been an
architect of that and if you go back
to the Lehmans Brothers crisis, it
would be fair to say the second half
of this bid she has done a good job
steadying the markets. Arguably the
job growth we have seen is down to
her policies. Donald Trump is
claiming credit but probably hasn't
Choppy waters all the time, we are
back on that deadline for the US
budget. Will they be thrown back
The markets, note the conciliation
in the state of the nation. The
sense is it will be easier to get a
solution this time around.
Still to come.
This week, we've seen a drop in user
numbers for Facebook,
and the price of Bitcoin has yet
again taken a tumble.
Later in the programme we'll get
a review of the week
with our tech guru
You're with Business
Live from BBC News.
Amid all this tech news,
Telecoms giant BT has
also published its results,
reporting a 3% drop in sales
in the third quarter,
although pre-tax profits were up.
Our own Theo Leggett
is here to tell us more.
What should we make
of these figures from BT?
They are disappointing but not
dreadful. Pre-tax profits were up by
25%, that sounds great but compare
it with the same quarter last year,
that was when Beattie was grappling
with the outcome of a major
accounting scandal at its Italian
unit and had to make big payments.
Take the adjusted earnings figure,
sales fell 3%, adjusted earnings
dropped down to £1.8 billion. That
is not dreadful. The company says it
is a lot to do with investment in
mobile, trying to pay off pensions
deficits. Shares this morning down
about 2.8%. This company has big
challenges. The pensions deficit is
rather large, £8 billion. The
company is looking at ways to deal
with it and it is reported at some
point it will have to get rid of its
final salary pension scheme.
Lots of changes going
on at BT at recently -
the channel-sharing deal with Sky
and the Openreach superfast
What impact will these
have on the business?
Last year, it agreed to legally
separate Openreach and turn it into
a stand-alone unit. Openreach at the
moment is ploughing forward with an
ambitious programme to bring
ultrafast broadband to 10 million
homes by 2025, as opposed to
superfast broadband which is in 95%
of homes but not that fast by modern
The channel sharing deal with Sky
looks good, they will carry each
other's channels. It brings BT Sport
to a wider audience and those
channels are gathering viewers fast.
Thank you. Much more on the BBC
website and much more online so had
for more. Thank you, Theo
You're watching Business Live.
Our top story - Apple has reported
record sales figures
for the latest quarter.
The company sold slightly
fewer iPhones compared
to the same time last year,
yet Apple was still able to post
a 12% increase in revenue.
Earlier we spoke about Apple
and Amazon, but earlier in the week
Facebook also reported its latest
set of financial results.
And elsewhere in the world of tech,
it's been an eventful week
for cryptocurrency investors.
One of which joins us in the studio!
Here's our technology
correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones.
I did buy a tiny amount about 18
months ago when I did a story about
Bitcoin, forgot about it, then found
out it was worth more than $1500,
and sold a chunk of it, I have to
say, and I have been watching it
obviously very closely over recent
weeks. The big story right now this
week is a growing realisation that
the sheer extent of fraud around
this whole cryptocurrency area, we
said earlier it was like the wild
West, but no, the wild West had more
rules and regulations are available
than in the cryptocurrency world.
Two major things this week. The
Japanese financial regulators raided
a cryptocurrency exchange, Coin
Check, which revealed a few days ago
it had been subject to what looked
like the biggest bank raid in
history, $530 million stolen by
hackers. Regulators are finding out
they are not very carefully
regulated, safeguarded, those
assets, and there is also a huge
amount of fraud. I read a report
just out on, and this is somehow the
cybercriminals' new area of
expertise and adventure, they are
doing e-mails to encourage you to
get into these things, pump and dump
exercises, where they ramp up the
value of a currency using fake news,
then spread that over a social media
very quickly and then get out before
the price plunges, saw a lot of
concerns and from there.
couldn't paint a bleak picture
really, with Bitcoin and
cryptocurrency, so what do you think
is the way ahead? They have to have
a future somewhere.
Everybody says the basic idea, and
perhaps the underlying technology,
which has got a huge amount of
enthusiasm around it, is interesting
and that there will be winners
It's just that it is so beset with
fraud, so beset with every kind of
Haque merchant at the moment that
you have to say to people, just be
very careful out there -- every hike
And you're not one of
You're not surprised by the big drop
off we have seen in January at the
start of this year?
What we saw the
Bitcoin last year was this huge
acceleration up to nearly $20,000,
then it came back down to around
$10,000 to $15,000 to the month of
January, and we now seem to be
seeing another acceleration
downwards, trading around $8,000 at
the moment. It is looking the
classic bubble pattern, but the
question is is this the end of the
bubble or will we see another spate?
Also on the subject of Facebook --
will we see another spike?
have been talking about the tech
giants, Google, Amazon, Apple, they
all have enormous power and all
heading for this trillion dollar
evaluation you have been talking
about. Facebook managed an
extraordinary feat the other night,
going into their conference call
their shares had started to dip and
people were worried about this and
then somehow listening to Mark
Zuckerberg for and our convinced the
analysts and they went back up
Why was that? What was he
He's talking a good game,
frankly, saying it is all part of
the strategy. They have at this
changing strategy where they are
going to put less news into the news
feed and make it more about your
friends and family, baby pictures,
where I have been on holiday, less
about, you know, is the Pope
Catholic and other strange stories,
and that's a bit of an experiment.
Every time they change their news
feed it is an experiment. I think
there was one worrying figure, a
figure that suggested in America
obviously their core market usage
was getting a bit, and it's sort of
begs the question, is this an
eternal upwards path? That is her
these pictures have always been
Is less more? Looking at
them out of users...
Yes, a tiny
amount, but what will worry some
investors is whether that is the
beginning of a trend where that is
the sort of gold mine about that,
but we shouldn't forget, they
haven't just got Facebook, they've
got Instagram, they've got What's
App, huge unsuccessful company with
all sorts of strings to its bowl.
We're not talking about the demise
of Facebook yet. -- strings to its
In a moment we'll take a look
through the Business Pages but first
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Business Live, on TV and online -
what you need to know,
when you need to know.
What other business
stories has the media been
taking an interest in?
Lawrence Gosling is editor-in-chief
of Investment Week magazine
and is joining us again to discuss.
Let's start on a subject close to
your heart of course. It is footie
and was a huge amount of money. We
have the option for the Premier
League, TV rights, and that will go
It is bound to. Just to
remind people of the number, £5.1
billion was the price played last
time around, largely by Sky and BT,
and I think what is fascinating
people now, who else will come in to
try to push up the value of the
rights which is clearly what the
Premier League wants, so we have
seen Amazon take on Sky on ATP
tennis. Facebook? Talking about them
earlier, and there has been some
chatter as well about whether
someone like Netflix, were clearly
content is there a driving force,
whether they will come in. When you
look at the bidding rights, what is
really fascinating, it is the
overseas rights which is where the
Premier League have done really well
in attracting more revenue from
other parts of the world.
could be doing so much better,
Without a doubt. When
you think of the size of China, for
example, with the Prime Minister has
returned from, the appetite for
football there is extraordinary and
the Premier League are beginning to
do bespoke rights.
At the beginning
of the programme we asked people to
tweet in on whether potentially they
would be willing to pay more to
watch football. Some responses. Ben
is not prepared to pay more. "Ticket
Prices are in for the Premier League
fixtures. If you put prices up for
TV coverage fans will be taken away
from football. Without fans football
is nothing." Another one, Mike has
cancelled both Sky Sports and BT
sports. It is becoming stupidly
expensive. Alice nails it. No,
overpaid, overrated. But if you
follow the Premier League you're
probably prepared to keep paying,
for the moment. Most fans are not
going to want to lose what is such a
now that part of your social life,
I think the Premier League
is very aware there is a threshold
for everybody. We have seen quite a
lot of talking over the last 12
months about ticket prices at
matches, as one of your
contributors... And they are aware
they can't make the product too
expensive for the core audience in
the UK, so in terms of the price
that, say, whoever gets the UK
rates, maybe close to the threshold
so that 5.1 million may not go up
perhaps as much as a different last
You have a sport that hasn't
quite caught on... Yes, a bit more
of a level playing field. The story
about Elon musk, who knew he had yet
another finger in yet another pie,
just selling flame-throwers, and
making $10 million.
The thought of
selling flame-throwers as an
alternative sport is a bit
extraordinary and extraordinary that
the company sells things like this
alongside baseball caps. The company
is probably a bit of a misnomer in
terms of what they do but the Home
Office in this country has pointed
out it is illegal to buy a
What is it?
Never quite got into
the market here. Lawrence, thank
you. Enjoy your weekend.
That's it from Business Live today.
There will be more business news
throughout the day on the BBC Live
web page and on World Business
Keep those tweets coming in as well
and we will be monitoring them as we