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Apple Q1 Earnings Show Record iPad and iPhone Sales

Apple today reported soaring first-quarter earnings results, based on its sales of iPhones, iPads and Macintosh computers.

The company reported earnings of $13.1 billion, or $13.87 per share, which surpassed expectations of $10.10 per share. The earnings were more than double the $6 billion in profit Apple reported for the same period last year. Apple's first quarter for its fiscal 2012 year ended on December 31.

The company described record sales of $46.3 billion in its first quarter. That result exceeded a projected $38.9 billion in sales expected for the quarter. It also represents an increase of more than 70% from the $26.7 billion figure that Apple had reported for the same period last year (although this year's quarter had an extra week).

In this fiscal year, Apple sold more than 37 million iPhones compared with 16.2 million iPhones in the last fiscal year. Other notable results for this fiscal year include the sales of 15.4 million iPads (vs. 7.2 million iPads last year) and 5.2 million Macs (a 26% increase year over year). On a conference call with investors, Apple executives said that the company would have sold more iPhones and iPads had it not been for a backlog in its supply chain.

Sales of smartphones using Google's Android platform have outpaced those of the iPhone, but Apple CEO Tim Cook was upbeat.

"Our customers are loving iPhone and we're very happy with that," Cook said on the call. Cook noted the progress of the iPad and reiterated his prediction that it would continue to eat away at PC use.

"As I've said before, I clearly believe there will come a day that the tablet market in units is larger than the PC market," he said. "There is cannibalization clearly of the Macintosh by the iPad, but we continue to believe there [are] much more Windows PCs to be cannibalized."

Indeed, sales of Windows licenses declined 6% for the quarter that ended on December 31, Microsoft reported last week. Microsoft described it as a decline mostly on the consumer side of spending.

Asked if he was concerned about the arrival of competitive tablets, Cook suggested that Apple was ahead of the game.

"Last year was supposed to be the year of the tablet," he said. "Most people would agree it was the year of the iPad. We are just going to continue to innovate like crazy in this area and we can compete with anyone who is shipping tablets or might enter in the future."

The new competition, he acknowledged, will be tablet PCs running Microsoft's forthcoming Windows 8 platform.

"There's a horse in Redmond that always suits up and always runs and will keep running and there's other players that we can never count out," Cook said.

Apple described other stats in its quarterly report:

  • There have been 55 million iPads shipped since the April 2010 launch.
  • There are 85 million users of Apple's recently released iCloud service.
  • There are 550,000 apps in the iTunes App Store, 170,000 of which are for the iPad.
  • There have been 100 million apps downloaded from the Macintosh App Store.

For Apple's current quarter, which will end on March 31, the company is forecasting revenues of $32.5 billion, up from $24.7 billion year over year.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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