As a result of strong holiday sales of its iPhones, iPads and even laptops, Apple announced last week record sales and profits for the last three months of 2010 that “far exceeded analysts’ bullish forecasts,” reported Miguel Helft of the New York Times (Jan. 18).
“Apple said its net income in the last three months of 2010 rose 78 percent from a year earlier to a record $6 billion, or $6.43 a share, from $3.4 billion, or $3.67 a share, a year earlier,” wrote Helft. “Revenue soared more than 70 percent to $26.74 billion, from $15.68 billion a year earlier.
“On average, Wall Street analysts forecast that Apple would report revenue of $24.5 billion in the last three months of the year and have net income of $5.38 a share.”
Other highlights from Apple’s record quarter include:
- The company sold 16.24 million iPhones, an increase of 86 percent over last year’s period.
- It sold 7.4 million iPads, up 75 percent from the previous quarter (the iPad was not available in the last quarter of 2009).
- Sales of Mac computers once again far outpaced the overall market for PCs, growing 22 percent to 4.1 million units. Sales of MacBook laptops went up 37 percent from a year earlier.
- The company also sold 19.6 iPod media players over the period.
“We had a phenomenal holiday quarter with record Mac, iPhone and iPad sales,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a release (Jobs announced Jan. 17 he was stepping down in order to take an indefinite medical leave). “We are firing on all cylinders and we’ve got some exciting things in the pipeline for this year.”
“It was a blowout quarter,” said Ashok Kumar, a Rodman & Renshaw analyst, in a Bloomberg News report (Jan. 18). “The momentum should sustain for the next 12 months with the iPad and iPhone refresh. The uncertainty investors have to prepare for is beyond that time frame in terms of the company’s ability to develop new markets.”
Apple readies iPhone, iPad for mobile payments via NFC scan
Apple also made headlines yesterday (Jan. 25), as a tech consulting firm told Bloomberg that both the iPhone 5 from AT&T and the iPad 2 would likely include near-filed communicaitons (NFC) technology, citing engineers working on the project, reported Lance Whitney of CNET News.
This technology, which would let customers scan the devices to make mobile payments in place of cash or credit cards, would be the first mainstream implementation of the “wallet phone” technology we’ve all heard was coming to North America for years now.
“Apple has apparently been eyeing NFC for some time,” Whitney added. “Last summer, the company hired an expert in NFC to join its mobile commerce team at the same time it reportedly was already testing the inclusion of the technology on its next iPhone.”