Apple posts biggest revenue and profit quarter of all time

Despite the global recession, according to Apple's Q4 2009 earnings announcement, the company sold 3.36 million Macs during the last 3 months of 2009. This represents a 33% sales increase over the same quarter back in 2008.

Even more staggering were iPhone sales. Apple sold 8.7 million handsets over the quarter, amounting to a 100% growth over last year. iPod sales did slip slightly though, only selling 21 million iPods, representing an 8% unit decline year over year. However sales of the iPod touch as an individual product in the iPod line were up 55%.

When asked specifically to dig deeper into the reasons behind these results, Apple chief operating officer Timothy D. Cook pointed to a variety of factors, but first stated, "We believe that we're shipping the best products we've ever shipped before, and very confident about the pipeline".

Both senior vice president and chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer and Cook also deflected direct questions related to Wednesday's product announcement. "We don't have anything to share today " Oppenheimer responded when prodded on how the hypothesized tablet was addressed in the firm's 2010 outlook. Cook then followed up to another related question more directly stating "we wouldn't want to take away your joy of surprise when we announce our latest creation on Wednesday".

Digging down to the iPhone's outstanding sales performance, Cook brought up the phone's release in 17 new countries throughout the world, bringing the total distribution to 86 countries worldwide. Sales in the Asia Pacific region were specifically up by %500 year over year. He also mentioned that business customers ranked the iPhone as the number one business smart phone for the second year in a row according to J.D. Power and Associates. From a business use perspective, Cook supported the phone's award by stating  that over 70% of fortune 500 companies are actively piloting or  deploying the phone.  Internationally, 50% of the FT 100 are doing the same. "We feel great about what's happening there" he concluded.

When asked about the company's thoughts on complaints related to AT&T's service in the U.S. and its impact on the Apple brand, Cook defended the carrier saying,  "AT&T is a great partner, and I think it's important to remember that they have more mobile broad band usage than any other carrier in the world". Following those comments the COO added that AT&T has provided detailed plans on how to improve their system, and that Apple had every confidence that the service provider would make good on its commitment.

Issues related to the iTunes store approval process and developer woes were also brought up and swiftly handled by the exec saying "it's important to keep this in perspective and realize that over 90% of all applications have been approved within 14 days of the submission", concluding that "the noise of it may be much higher than the reality".

In total the company's run-away success over this time resulted in a quarterly revenue posting of $15.68 billion, and a net quarterly profit of $3.38 billion. When compared to $11.88 billion in revenue postings during the final quarter of 2008, and $2.26 billion in net quarterly profits, it's clear the Cupertino based tech giant missed the financial woes plaguing other corporations across the world throughout the year, and has their eyes now focused on reaching similar heights in 2010.

 



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