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Apple makes money, but is it enough?

  • $8bn profit on $35bn revenue
  • 26 million iPhones, 17 million iPads
  • Lots of stuff still to come in 2012
Written by Adam Wajnberg

Mom and Pop gizmo retailer Apple released its 3rd Quarter results this week (3rd quarter of the US business calendar). The results were typically jaw-dropping, but fell juuuust short of what analysts came to after throwing darts at a deck of tarot cards. Hence, Apple is on the verge of collapse.

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                       image credit deviant art



Image credit DeviantArt

Moving on - The raw numbers, rounding down because what’s a few hundred million? And with comparisons to the same time last year :

Total cash generated - $35bn (2011: $28bn)
Profit - $8.8bn (2011: $7.3bn)
iPhone sold – 26 million (2011: About 20 million)
iPads – 17 million (2011: about 9 million)
Macs – 4 million (2011: about the same)
iPods – 6.8 million (2011: 2011: 7.5 million)

Apple paid out a dividend of $2.65 per common share on the news.

These would be excellent annual figures for most companies; for Apple, this is what they make in a quarter – and not a very exciting quarter. Apple is facing very real competition from Samsung and HTC. They haven’t released a major update to the iPhone in nearly two years. There were no major gift giving holidays in this quarter. Nearly 40% of their business was in the US, a country that some analysts still peg as a developed nation. The other 60% of business was done in places like Europe, which is in France, a land of communists.

And yet still – still! They made more money than last year. Even with the release of a new iPhone imminent in the next quarter, they still sold 26 million of the damn things, putting to shame any other single smartphone model. Samsung sells more phones, but no single model with the iPhone’s cache. That said - their flagship Galaxy S3 has already sold 10 million units in just a few weeks.

On top of the news, Apple tossed out the release of OSX Mountain Lion for desktop and laptop models, which promises to further integrate features from their mobile operating system iOS. CEO Tim Cook also issued a characteristically low key reference to what’s in store, saying “We’ve also just updated the entire MacBook line, will release Mountain Lion tomorrow and will be launching iOS 6 this Fall. We are also really looking forward to the amazing new products we’ve got in the pipeline.”

Apple have of late gained more notoriety for their consistent legal attacks against Samsung and Android, some of which has earned it a reputation for ‘patent trolling’. Samsung sells more phones, and Android exists on more handsets, but Apple still make far more money thanks to their integrated approach.

The extra money, even with the dividend, will go back into the product pipeline. Besides the hotly anticipated next iPhone, Apple have also registered patents lately hinting at a competitor to Google Glasses, the nascent Heads-Up-Display (HUD) technology previewed by Google at their I/O conference in June. The technology would allow for a pair of glasses to display information right on the lens for real time updates and communications.

As for the next iPhone, speculation abounds that it will be slightly bigger, pack 4G and NFC technologies, and will usher in a new era of Apple as payment mediator. iOS 6, still in development preview, includes a new app called Passbook, which will collect digital boarding passes,gift cards,  loyalty cards and other pseudo-cash in one place. With Near Field Communications (NFC) built in, this could see people paying for purchases with their iTunes account and the wave of the phone across a scanner. This ‘digital wallet’ concept is being used to some extent in Android and has been previewed for Windows Phone 8 as well.

Speaking of the latter – Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and the Microsoft Surface tablet are all expected to land in late September/Early October, which should clash with Apple’s next big thing. Expect things to heat up around Christmas!


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