Update: iPhone, iPad sales up, Macs fall as Apple sees record sales

Phillip Michaels
24 January, 2013
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iPhone and iPad sales pushed Apple to quarterly records for both sales and profit during the just-completed holiday season, the company announced this morning. But Mac sales dropped from last year’s numbers.

For the company’s first fiscal quarter of 2013, Apple posted revenue of US$54.5 billion and net profit of US$13.1 billion. Revenue rose 17.7 percent from the 2012 first quarter, while profit was flat year-over-year. Apple earned US$13.81 per share, down half-a-percentage point from the US$13.87 it earned in the year-ago quarter.

Note that Apple’s figures for 2013 came in a 13-week first quarter; the 2012 first quarter ran 14 weeks. Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer noted that Apple’s average weekly revenue was US$4.2 billion for the just-completed quarter, compared to US$3.3 billion last year.

“No technology company has ever reported these kind of results,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told analysts during a Thursday morning conference call.

Apple’s quarterly performance was in line with Wall Street expectations. Analysts were looking for sales of around US$54.7 billion for the quarter and earnings per share of US$13.42.

iPhone and iPads soar

iPhone sales hit a record for the quarter ended Dec. 29, 2012, up 29 percent to 47.8 million phones. That was within the 46 to 47 million range analysts were looking for. Apple says it sold 3.7 million phones a week during the quarter, compared to weekly sales of 2.6 million during the 2012 quarter.

iPhone sales growth was strong in all sales regions, Oppenheimer said, but particularly in Greater China, which includes China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Sales doubled year over year in that region.

Oppenheimer credited the “tremendous popularity” of iPhone 5 for driving Apple’s phone business—a not so subtle slap at rumours of sluggish iPhone 5 sales. Breaking with Apple’s typical practice of not addressing rumours, Cook did dismiss reports of iPhone order cuts.

“It’s good to question the accuracy of any rumors of that sort,” Cook told analysts. “Even if a particular data point were factual, it’s impossible to interpret what it means for overall business. The supply chain is complex, we have multiple sources, yields can vary, supplier performance can vary, and so on.”

iPad sales also set a new high-water mark, with 22.9 million tablets sold, compared to 15.4 million last year. That translates to more than 1.7 million iPads sold per week, a 60 percent increase from the year-ago quarter, according to Oppenheimer.

As is its custom, Apple didn’t break out sales figures between iPad models—it currently offers the iPad 2, a fourth-generation model of its full-sized iPad, and the iPad mini. Oppenheimer called the smaller version of Apple’s tablet a “tremendous hit.”

Apple executives touted the iPad’s use by businesses and government agency. Specifically, noted that Barclays, the financial services provider, had rolled out 8,000 iPads to its workforce during the quarter, “making it the most successful IT deployment in Barclays history.” State, local, and even international governments are also deploying the iPad, he said, including 10,000 iPads by the Swedish government and 5,000 in the port system of the Netherlands.

For the quarter, Apple sold more than 75 million iOS devices.

Mac and iPod down

Mac sales dropped for the quarter. Apple sold 4.1 million Macs in 2013’s first quarter, compared to 5.2 million for the same period in 2012. Apple blamed the shortfall on inventory constraints that kept the company from shipping the new iMac until the final month of the quarter.

“We believe our Mac sales would have been much higher” without those constraints, Oppenheimer told analysts.

iPod sales continued their decline, down to 12.7 million in the just-completed quarter versus 15.4 million last year.

For the second quarter ending in March, Apple expects sales to come in between US$41 and US$43 billion. That number would be slightly ahead of the US$39.2 billion in revenue the company logged in the 2012 second quarter.

We’ll have more information throughout the morning.

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