Juicy Apple defies crunch with sales of $46bn

Everyone's favourite gadget maker posted record profits of $13.06bn on sales of $46bn in the three months to December, with gross margins of 44.7%

by Andrew Saunders
Last Updated: 14 Feb 2012
That’s 118% more profit than it made in the same quarter of 2010 – not a bad result for a company which lost its iconic leader Steve Jobs to pancreatic cancer only a few months ago. To put it in perspective, Apple’s profit in its latest quarter is half as much again as Google’s sales. Gulp.

The results beat analyst expectations soundly and should put paid to fears that Apple under its new CEO Tim Cook might be just a pale shadow of its former Jobs-led self. For now at least.

No prizes for guessing which of Apple’s small objects of desire is behind much of that dosh – the all-conquering iPhone. The firm shifted a frankly astounding 37m of the things, that’s 12.3m a month or nearly 3m a week if you prefer. So much for those who said that the iPhone 4S was a dud. If that how a dud sells, we can’t wait to see what numbers the iPhone 5 does when it eventually comes out.   

And despite the proliferation of cheaper rival tablets, the high-end iPad also did well – 15.43m were sold, a rise of 111% on the previous year. Proof that if the product is right people are still prepared to pay a premium price for it.

Talking of premiums, CEO Cook is certainly keeping is investors happy at the moment, with earnings per share of $13.87, smashing both his own forecast of $9.30 and analysts predictions of around $10. Its shareprice also jumped around 8% to a hefty $451.94. At that rate it won’t be long before one Apple share will buy you an iPad.

Even that old favourite the Mac is soldiering on, with sales up 26% to 5.2m units. Only the iPod (ironically the device which spearheaded Apple’s noughties renaissance) appears to be running out of steam – sales fell 21% to 15.4m units.

It’s a major result for Apple in the smartphone wars, in which Android rivals from HTC and Samsung have been catching up of late. Both Motorola and HTC’s latest figures were disappointing, leaving only Samsung’s Galaxy range within sight of the mighty iPhone at present. With competition like that, there’s never been a better time to be a smartphone customer…

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