This week Apple announced earnings for their second fiscal quarter of 2008 (January through March), wherein they enjoyed the best second quarter in their history, posting a profit of $1.05 billion on revenues of $7.5 billion. While a company’s balance sheet shouldn’t be a deciding factor in choosing your computer platform (after all, Microsoft has made gazillions of dollars foisting Windoze on the majority of the world), Apple’s continued health and growth is a good sign for both stockholders and end users like you and me. Let’s go “inside the numbers”.
In the first three months of 2008 (a traditionally slow quarter coming after the holiday sales period and before summer and back-to-school) Apple shipped around 2.3 million Macintosh computers, up 51 percent from the year-ago quarter. This growth rate is more than 3.5 times the rate of the rest of the personal computer industry. Apple sold 856,000 desktop Macs and 1,433,000 notebooks Macs in the quarter, in line with the industry trend of consumers favoring portability.
Apple sold 10.7 million iPods in the quarter (73 percent of the U.S. market), up only one percent from the same quarter last year. This small growth number is due in part to the traditionally slow spring quarter and the fact that almost everyone already has an iPod.
It’s also likely that the 1.7 million iPhones (which of course contain an iPod) sold in the quarter cut into iPod sales a bit as well. Apple said that they were on track to make their goal of 10 million iPhone sales in 2008. Sales were higher than expected, resulting in some supply shortages in the quarter. They also noted that a significant number of iPhones were sold to customers whose intention was to “unlock” (remove their dependence on AT&T as the phone service provider) and resell them, particularly in other countries.
If you’re thinking about an iPhone purchase, here’s some news you can use. Remember that Apple will update the software that runs the iPhone to version 2.0 in “late June”, opening the iPhone to third-party developers. While the new software will run just fine on current iPhones, the rumor mill is abuzz with reports of at least one new iPhone model to debut coincident with the new software. The new iPhone is said to sport a chip that supports the faster “3G” wireless network, a higher resolution camera, and possibly video chat.
|© 2008 Peter F. Zimowski|