Apple posts more juicy figures

Apple's profits have leapt by 90% - thanks to sales of Macs and some flashy mobile gizmo.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

The achingly trendy tech firm made a net profit of $3.1bn (£2bn) in the first quarter, while revenue rose 49% to $13.5bn - driven largely by sales of such iconic aspirational tools as the Macintosh computer and the iPhone.

Apple CEO/guru Steve Jobs described the period as the company's ‘best non-holiday quarter ever', in which it flogged almost three million Macs and about ten million iPods. It also sold around nine million iPhones - more than double the previous year's figure.

In fact its success has proven so great as to prove too much even for the company. Its latest hot product the iPad is so successful in the US since its recent launch that they can't make enough with which to supply other markets. Hence the UK launch has been put back - again - to the end of May.

But with the buzz around the iPad suitably loud, Apple only looks like ripening more. Whatever your take on the self-satisfied devotion that its products demand, you can't knock the company for what it's achieved - emerging from Microsoft's niche competitor, beloved of the designer set but largely ignored beyond, to leading the charge in well-designed applications that sit at the centre of people's lives.

Jobs isn't the only man who'll be pleased with the figures. Apple software engineer Gray Powell will be grateful for any positive story that'll take attention away from the massive gaffe for which he hit the headlines this week: leaving a top secret prototype of the as yet unreleased iPhone 4G on a Californian bar stool.

Such neglect of an iPhone would be enough to prompt hara-kiri in the average Apple convert, but it's especially bad for an Apple employee - anyone who leaks information on new products can expect an imminent and very violent meeting between their backside and Steve Jobs' pendulous iBoot.

For this reason many now reckon the whole story is a clumsy viral marketing stunt. If so it's worked - the story is everywhere, and it's cost Apple nothing.

But such sneaky tricks don't really sit right with Apple. As these latest results show, the level of dedication among fans means its sales are healthy enough without having to stoop to that. Instead the company is all about keeping everything top secret until the moment of launch, whereupon Sir Steve of Jobs wanders out and unleashes the new kit in a heavily choreographed fanfare, before surfing off on a wave of style-nerd dribble.

Powell may have lost his phone, but he apparently still has his job. Perhaps Jobs is sufficiently happy with the figures to let it slide, even if going out on the razz with a top secret unreleased phone is seriously asking for trouble.

Indeed, Powell apparently updated his Facebook page from the device before he lost it, noting: ‘I underestimated how good German beer is'. Then he proved it by stumbling off and leaving his phone behind. Which has given us an idea for another new iPhone app: one that warns you your drinking's about to make you do something really stupid.


In today's bulletin:

Banks to face double tax whammy in IMF clamp down?
Unemployment hits 16yr high of 2.5m
Apple posts more juicy figures
Editor's blog: Farewell silent skies
Thorntons suffers a rotten egg of an Easter



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