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Apple profit rockets with hot iPad, iPhone sales

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 7:34 EDT
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Pedestrians walk by an Apple Store in San Francisco, California
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Apple revenue and profit rocketed to record highs in the recent quarter as sales of iPhones and iPads more than doubled with help from accelerating demand in Asia.

Apple said Tuesday that its net profit more than doubled to $7.31 billion on unprecedented revenue of $28.57 billion in the quarter ending June 25.

“We’re thrilled to deliver our best quarter ever, with revenue up 82 percent and profits up 125 percent,” Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said in a release.

“Right now, we’re very focused and excited about bringing iOS 5 and iCloud to our users this fall,” he continued.

Apple stock price, which had pumped up in anticipation of stellar earnings results climbed even further, rising more than four percent to $394 a share in after-hours trading.

The Cupertino, California-based company reported that it sold 20.34 million iPhones and 9.25 million iPad tablet computers in sales figures that eclipsed the same quarter last year by 142 percent and 183 percent respectively.

Apple saw the number of Macintosh computers sold climb 14 percent to 3.95 million, while iPod sales slid 20 percent to 7.54 million units.

“We are extremely pleased with our performance,” said Apple chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer.

“Looking ahead to the fourth fiscal quarter of 2011, we expect revenue of about $25 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share of about $5.50.”

Apple announced that Wednesday it will release the latest version of its Macintosh computer operating system, dubbed Lion, which boasts more than 250 new features including support for touch-screen controls.

Sales of Macintosh were up 14 percent from the year-ago quarter and dramatically outpaced the overall computer industry.

“We do believe that some customers chose to purchase an iPad instead of a new Mac during the quarter, but we think even more customers chose to purchase an iPad over a Windows PC (personal computer),” Apple chief operating officer Tim Cook said during an earnings conference call.

Apple sold every iPad 2 it could make during the quarter and has been hustling to increase supplies of the coveted tablet computers.

“Sales of iPad 2 have absolutely been a frenzy for people to get one,” Cook said. “We feel very good about the progress we have made ramping up.”

Along with being a hit outside of the workplace, iPads are increasingly being incorporated into operations at companies ranging from hospitals and retailers to airlines, according to Apple executives.

Apple revenue in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong was $3.8 billion, six times that seen in the same quarter last year, making the area a key driver behind the company’s record financial results, according to Cook.

“There is an incredible opportunity for Apple there,” Cook said of the Asia-Pacific region. “I firmly believe we are just scratching the surface there right now.”

Stunning iPhone sales figures in the quarter were due in large part due to demand in emerging and developing markets including China, Latin America, and the Middle East, according to company executives.

“That is great for Apple,” Cook said. “These are markets Apple has not traditionally been strong in and we are beginning to see the fruits of our labor.”

Apple reported that it has sold overall more than 222 million devices running on its mobile operating system.

Apple’s online iTunes store retained its crown as the world’s top music retailer.
During the conference call, Oppenheimer mentioned a “product transition” planned for later this year but declined to provide specifics.

“Apple builds products and drives people to the products, where other vendors make products and hope they will be hits,” said independent analyst Rob Enderle of Silicon Valley.

“They make money on apps, accessories, hardware…they monetize everything,” he continued. “They’ve got a formula.”

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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