Apple posts another record quarter, new iPhone confirmed to come before the end of September

Apple has reported its results for the second quarter of this year (which, confusingly, is Apple’s third fiscal quarter – yet I will refer to it as Q2). That’s the April-June quarter for you and me.

Records have been broken yet again. Apple certainly looks like it’s on a roll lately, reporting record quarter after record quarter. The last quarter (the year’s first, Apple’s fiscal second) was the best one Apple ever had. Until now, that is, when the quarter ending in June has become Apple’s best ever.

Let’s dig into the numbers. Apple’s quarterly revenue was $28.57 billion, with the profit coming in at $7.31 billion. In the year-ago quarter, those numbers were $15.7 billion, and $3.25 billion, respectively. That’s an 81% revenue growth, and 124% more profit.

Compared to the previous quarter (January-March 2011), revenue went up 15% and the profit went up 22%.

Apple sold 20.34 million iPhones this quarter, which is 142% more than the year-ago quarter. It’s also 9% more than last quarter.

Apple also sold 9.25 million iPads during Q2, a 183% increase compared to the year-ago quarter. It’s also a whopping 97% more than in the first quarter of 2011. Clearly that’s the impact of the iPad 2’s release at work.

Including the iPod touch, Apple sold 33 million iOS devices this quarter (up 17% from my estimate of 28 million for last quarter).

iPhone sales almost quadrupled in Asia-Pacific, which looks like it’s the main growth engine for the iPhone right now. That makes some sense, since the US and Western European markets are now in the ‘mature’ phase with regard to the iPhone. What also probably helped this quarter was Apple expanding distribution to 14 new countries and 42 new carriers. There were (and probably still are) territories where the only way to buy an iPhone was from the ‘grey’ market, at highly inflated prices. Once Apple officially releases its phone in a country, sales obviously increase exponentially, since the carrier agreements usually mean lower prices for the eager customers (at least lower than what the grey market offers).

Apple’s sequential growth was driven by developing and emerging markets. China was big, Brazil, Mexico and the Middle East too. During this quarter, Apple has become strong in markets where it previously wasn’t. According to an analyst present for today’s earnings call, 5.6 million iPhones are now active on China Mobile, a carrier that doesn’t directly sell the iPhone. Speaking of China, Apple’s revenue in greater China was $3.8 billion this quarter.

Apple’s year-on-year numbers are exceptional, yet its sequential growth is healthy, but not amazing (except iPads). The iPhone growth of just 9% over the past quarter is certainly a good result, but single-digit growth in an industry that’s growing like crazy isn’t really that special. Overall iDevice sales went up 17%, but that number is heavily influenced by the iPad numbers, and more specifically the iPad 2.

Which brings me to the main takeaway from these numbers. While iPhone growth is steady, this was clearly the iPad’s quarter. The iPad 2 has seen incredible sales, and Apple basically said that it sold all the iPads it was able to manufacture (by it, I mean Hon Hai Precision Industry, of course). So the quarter has iPad written all over it.

Apple has also confirmed the fact that a new iPhone is coming in the third quarter – so before the end of September. Apple said that it has a product transition coming in Q3 that it didn’t want to talk about during today’s earnings conference call. Now a product transition can clearly only mean one thing – a new iPhone. Whatever it will end up being called, a new iPhone will hit the streets this quarter.

And when that happens, perhaps we’ll see a quarter with ‘iPhone’ written all over it, much as Q2 had the iPad as the lead product (in terms of growth). The quarter to benefit from sales of the new iPhone will probably be the fourth, though, since Apple’s guidance for Q3 showed some very conservative numbers, with sales projected to be below those of Q2. That means that Apple expects that anticipation for the new iDevice will temporarily halt sales growth, and the new device won’t become available early enough in the third quarter to be able to heavily influence the numbers.

In plain English, that means that the new iPhone will probably arrive in September, and not sooner.

One way or the other, Apple doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. It just keeps growing, and growing, and growing.

Author: Vlad Bobleanta

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  • Ruslan1313

    If they made so much money, why do they spend so much miserable time suing other companies instead of embracing competition?