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Apple sales top US$20 billion in fiscal fourth quarter

Philip Michaels | Oct. 19, 2010
Apple reported record revenue and earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter, thanks to strong sales of Macs, iPhones, and iPads.

"We've now passed RIM, and I don't see them catching up to us in the future," said Jobs, who targeted most of his remarks during the conference call at Google and its Android operating system. Jobs called Google's claims that Android is more open than Apple's iOS "a bit disingenuous" and a "smokescreen" to distract consumers from the benefits of the integrated experience Apple provides with its iPhone and iPad product lines.

Jobs also took aim at the number of potential iPad competitors poised to hit the tablet market in the coming months. "It appears to be a handful of credible entrants and not an avalanche," said Jobs, who thinks would-be iPad rivals will suffer by offering a smaller screen size, a fragmented experience, and uncompetitive prices.

Recognized revenue from the iPhone rose 92 percent to $8.82 billion. The phone is now available through 166 carriers in 89 countries. That includes China, which just started selling the iPhone 4 on the final day of Apple's fiscal fourth quarter. The phone has been a success there, with partner China Unicom selling 100,000 phones during the first four days the new smartphone went on sale. According to Apple COO Tim Cook, 85 of those 89 countries are selling the iPhone 4, with the last four slated to get the newest model by the end of year.

For the 2010 fiscal year, Apple sold 40 million phones, a 93 percent jump over 2009. During September, the company says it passed the 125 million mark for cumulative iOS sales of its iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch offerings.

Don't forget the Mac

Apple also saw a record quarter for its Mac business. The company sold 3.89 million computers, up 27 percent from its year-ago sales. Fourth-quarter Mac sales topped the previous high-water mark of 3.47 million mark set during the June quarter. Year-over-year sales growth was more than double the growth rate projected for the overall PC market by research firm IDC, according to Oppenheimer.

Laptops continue to be the driving force behind Apple's Mac sales, with portable products accounting for 71 percent of the Macs sold during the September quarter. However, sales of desktops rose nearly 28 percent to a little more than 1 million units, on the strength of the company's iMac and Mac Pro updates over the summer.

Apple saw year-over-year growth in Mac sales across all of its geographic segments. Growth was particularly strong in the Asia-Pacific and Japan markets, which saw revenue rise 157 percent and 121 percent, respectively, from last year's fourth quarter.

iPod sales drop

Not all of Apple's product lines are growing. The iPod segment continues to shrink, with Apple selling 9.05 million music players during the quarter -- that's an 11 percent drop from last year's figures. Apple updated its iPod line in September, though the company usually sees the fruits of those efforts during the holiday quarter.


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