Apple has posted it’s Q4 results for Fiscal 2008 and has beaten the Street. Not just that, it has achieved it’s self-proclaimed target of 10 million iPhones by 2008 already – 3 months ahead of time! Here are the headlines:
- Revenue: $7.9 billion, up from $6.22 billion in Q4 2007
- Profit: $ 1.14 billion, up more than 26% from $904 million in 2007
- $25 billion of cash in the bank with zero debt
- Sold 6.9 million iPhones in the last quarter (they outsold RIM’s entire range of BlackBerry phones. RIM sold 6.1 million phones)
- Apple has been around for just 15 months in the market for mobile phones yet outperformed established competitors like RIM
- Measured by revenue, Apple has become the world’s 3rd largest mobile phone supplier: Nokia, $12.7b, Samsung, $5.9b, Apple, $4.6b
What is remarkable is that Apple has done well on across its product line – not just the iPhone. And the holiday season has not begun in the US! Steve Jobs made an appearance in the conference call, signifying the importance of the achievements. And also to perhaps calm the markets in these troubled times.
In an interesting article, Fortune compares the estimates financial analysts had made about Apple’s performance and the actual results. Some of them were off the actual figures by 72% on the iPhone sales. Shows how skeptical the market is vis-a-vis the iPhone. Speaking of miscalculations and snafus, Fortune also provides a list of dumb iPhone predictions. Some gems:
“Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone… What Apple risks here is its reputation as a hot company that can do no wrong. If it’s smart it will call the iPhone a ‘reference design’ and pass it to some suckers to build with someone else’s marketing budget. Then it can wash its hands of any marketplace failures… Otherwise I’d advise people to cover their eyes. You are not going to like what you’ll see.”
John C. Dvorak, Bloated Gas Bag, March 28, 2007“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It’s a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I’d prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get.”
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, 30 April 2007“It just doesn’t matter anymore. There are now alternatives to the iPhone, which has been introduced everywhere else in the world. It’s no longer a novelty.”
Eamon Hoey, Hoey and Associates, April 30, 2008
One’s vision is always 20-20 on hindsight, eh? While all this is giving Apple fans like me much to rejoice, the fact is: India is not an important market for Apple. See here for more. Steve Jobs said in the conference call (while referring to possible $500 notebooks):
‘Apple would rather cater to the large number of customers who would like to and can afford to buy their products instead of going after the extremely price conscious buyer’.
In markets like India the animal that he is referring to may not be as common as in the developed markets. Nevertheless, hats off to Steve Jobs and his team for persisting with their vision, shaking things up, turning consumers into fans and very importantly, being profitable at that!