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Tuesday, 26 January 2010 08:54

Apple profits go gangbusters on penultimate eve of iPad launch

Just in time for the merry hoopla that will be unveiled in earnest come the first coming of the Apple iPad, Apple has announced that it has achieved “all-time highest revenue and profit”, something that looks set to soar to even greater heights once the iPad becomes iReal.

There’s good news all round for Apple even before the iPad launches with the release of Apple’s latest “first quarter results” ending Dec 26, 2009.

With revenue of US $15.68 billion and profits of $3.38 billion – in the quarter alone – Steve Jobs has noted, with “surprise”, that “If you annualize our quarterly revenue, it’s surprising that Apple is now a $50+ billion company”.

This compares with $11.88 billion and profit of $2.26 billion in the same period last year.

Jobs also goes on to again confirm (following the “latest creation” invitation”) that there are new products on the way, saying “The new products we are planning to release this year are very strong, starting this week with a major new product that we’re really excited about”.

Of course everyone takes this “major new product” to be the famed iPad, iTablet and/or iSlate, but as we have all heard, there are expectations that information will also be shared on an updated iPhone OS, content deals, Core iSomething processors for the MacBook range and more.

Over the all-important 4th quarter of 2009, Apple said it sold 3.36 million Macs, or a 33% increase from the same period last year, and 8.7 million iPhones which is a whopping 100% increase, again from the same period last year.

There was a decline, however – iPod sales dropped 8% to “only” 21 million iPods in the quarter compared with the previous year.  

Apple also notes in its report that: “During the quarter Apple elected retrospective adoption of the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s amended accounting standards related to certain revenue recognition. Adoption of the new accounting standards significantly changes how the Company accounts for certain items, particularly sales of iPhone and Apple TV” and goes into more detail about it all here.

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Apple’s CFO, Peter Oppenhemier, was also on top of the world, saying: “We are very pleased to have generated $5.8 billion in cash during the quarter. Looking ahead to the second fiscal quarter of 2010, we expect revenue in the range of about $11.0 billion to $11.4 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share in the range of about $2.06 to $2.18.”

The next report will also presumably include the iPad – or whatever Apple will call it – in its next set of results, depending on when the iPad actually goes on sale, effectively guaranteeing continued profit growth for Apple for the foreseeable future.

Unless, of course, the iPad is vastly overpriced, and while that’s a possibility, Apple are too smart to price themselves out of the market.

After all, what’s the point of a tablet-led revolution if no-one can afford it? It would, as many have stated online, be too bitter a pill to swallow.

Apple’s results are undeniably important and great to see occurring, despite the “global recession”, but the real deal happens on the 27th of January (or sometime on the 28th for us Aussies in the southern hemisphere).

After all, if the iPad is a success, Steve Jobs might soon be marvelling at how Apple has transformed itself into a $100 billion dollar company, because when it comes to Apple, impossible really seems nothing - but only when they’re ready to do it!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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