Apple may soon see a to their revenue thanks to revisions of reporting rules made Wednesday finalized by the Financial Accounting Standards Board.
The FASB, a U.S. private sector organization responsible for establishing financial accounting and reporting standards, approved the changes in its requirements concerning companies that report the revenue of hybrid products. The change also applies to other big techs including Hewlett Packard, IBM and Cisco.
The impact to Apple is the greatest, but just for the iPhone and Apple TV. The impact to Macs and iPods is smaller, if any. For HP, there could be positive impact, particularly those offerings sold through its services arm, wrote Shaw Wu, a Kaufman Bros. analyst in a research note.
Apple heavily lobbied the FASB in an effort to change the GAAP rules. Under the previous restrictions, the company was forced to use subscription accounting and spread revenue from the iPhone and Apple TV over two years.
However, the vast majority of the value of the device was realized at the time of purchase, analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray said.
While the value at the time of purchase as a percentage of the purchase price is debatable, we believe about 90 percent of the value of an iPhone is realized at the time of purchase. Under the previous rules, Apple was only allowed to recognize 12.5 percent (1/8th) of the revenue from each sale; under the new rules, the percentage will be decided on a case-by-case basis for each given product.