Apple bucks recession, records best non-holiday quarter in company history

Darren Murph
D. Murph|07.21.09

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Apple bucks recession, records best non-holiday quarter in company history

Love 'em or hate 'em, Apple knows how to sell, and sell big. As we tune into the company's fiscal 2009 third quarter conference call this afternoon, we're told that it has just recorded its "best non-holiday quarter [in terms of] revenue and earnings" in company history. This, mind you, was recorded during what most say is the worst recession since the Great Depression. All told, Apple netted a quarterly profit of $1.23 billion, and international sales accounted for a staggering 44 percent of the quarter's revenue. The outfit continued to steamroll the competition in MP3 sales, moving 10.2 million iPod units in the quarter; of note, that was a seven percent decrease from last year, but given that fact that we're getting ever-closer to a saturation point with these things, we aren't too shocked to hear it.

The company also confessed that the iPhone and iPod touch was cannibalizing traditional iPod sales (defined by Apple as the "shuffle, nano and classic"), but so long as those purchases stay within the realm of Apple, we're sure it doesn't much mind. The firm was also quick to boast of a 626 percent increase in iPhone sales from this quarter a year ago, but considering that its handsets were only available in a handful of nations then compared to scores of countries now, we still maintain that next quarter's iPhone sales will be the real measuring stick. Still, Peter Oppenheimer -- Apple's senior vice president and Chief Financial Officer -- did admit that the company was currently unable to meet iPhone 3GS demand in virtually every country where Apple is shipping it to. Which is funny, since we haven't heard of too many Americans that are still having trouble locating one. When talking about iTunes, we were reminded of the 1.5 billion total applications downloaded from the App Store, while some eight billion jams had been purchased (both since launch). In fact, Apple claimed that it was "years ahead" of rivals when comparing the App Store all those other application markets. Finally, Mac sales scooted up some four percent with a grand total of 2.6 million unit sold, which went down as the company's best-ever June quarter in terms of personal computer sales.

When asked (again) about the possibility of Apple introducing a netbook, we were reminded that Apple "isn't out to make the most computers, just to make the best computers." Furthermore the suits at the company have yet to figure out how to build "the best" at the "$299, $399 or $499" level, once again extinguishing any hope of a low-cost Mac laptop anytime soon. He went on to say that "some customers buying these [netbooks] become disappointed / disenchanted," asserting that Apple is simply striving to make the "best, most innovative" machines and "give customers the most value." To quote Mr. Oppenheimer when responding to a question over an iPod-like device with a larger screen:

"I never want to discount anything in the future and never want to talk about new products. People want a full-featured notebook, some of the netbooks being delivered are very slow, have software technology that is old, don't have a robust computing experience, small display, cramped keyboard, I could go on but I won't. We'll only play in things where we can be very innovative and be proud of."

Okay Apple, we get it -- you're not interested in the netbook space. Gosh.
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