Apple Fells Estimates As iOS Sales Soar

New York Yankee radio announcer John Sterling is a master of that old Dale Carnegie saw of telling us what he’ll tell us, telling us, and then telling us what he told us. Last night, he was telling us for the umpteenth time that shortstop Derek Jeter was a bona fide superstar who’d be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. All that talk about his slowing down was a fabrication of “the media,” which “likes to build stars up so they can knock them down.”

You might say the same of Apple. As financial reporter Joe Donnelly said a little earlier on the same station, WCBS Newsradio 880, the market had done a one-eighty on its usual formula of “buy the rumor and sell the news.” Apple’s share price had dropped 13% over the past fortnight in anticipation of weakened fiscal second-quarter earnings. But it soared 7% in after-market trading yesterday after the Cupertino Comebackers blew away analysts’ estimates with a 59% rise in revenues and 94% jump in net profit over the previous year. 

We refer you to the Apple press release for details, canned quotes, etc.

“Apple has brushed aside concerns that it could soon reach the limits of its soaring growth,” the Financial Times’ Richard Waters and Chris Nuttall report, “with news … that huge international sales of the iPhone enabled its latest financial results to once again top even the most optimistic Wall Street forecasts.”

Exploding sales of iPhones –- particularly on the global market and more specifically in China –- indeed led the way. Apple also sold 11.8 million iPads, which is more than double the number it sold in the same quarter last year, points out the New York Times’ Nick Wingfield.

The increasing versatility of iOS devices -- beyond keeping us tethered to the office and home -- has much to do with keeping the juggernaut going, of course. As I was mulling some of the add-on and apps available for the iPhone in the newish Apple store in Grand Central Terminal a couple of days ago -– from Bluetooth heart monitors to radar detectors to dongles that allow you to swipe credit cards –- I was reminded of the classic Ginsu knife commercials. In fact, just about the only thing iOS doesn’t do is slice and dice tomatoes or chop wood. 

Android is not far behind, of course, but Apple is clearly setting the tone of the marketplace the way that other leaders have in their categories in the past. (Eastman Kodak, which sold Kodak Gallery to Shutterfly yesterday for $23.8 million after no other buyers came forward, as Dana Mattioli reports in the Wall Street Journal, comes to mind.)

“Stellar Apple results came despite a wave of rival mobile devices flowing from Samsung's Galaxy lineup running on Google's new Android 4.0 to new Nokia phones packing Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system,” points out Scott Martin in USA Today, who notes that a new iPhone expected in the fall “could sport 4G service.”

As hot as the mobile market may be, Apple clearly views its Mac Books and tablet devices as separate OS entities, unlike Microsoft. Its new Windows 8 OS “will straddle tablets as well as more traditional netbooks, enabling a new generation of convertible tablets,” Mark Hachman reports in PC.

But Apple CEO Tim Cook thinks very different. 

"You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but you know those things are not going to be pleasing to the user," he told analysts on an earnings call last night.

“Microsoft's response was left to cheeky spokesman Frank Shaw,” Hachman reports. "’Must be a typo,’ he tweeted. ‘It's not a toaster/fridge. It's a toaster/oven. Those seem pretty popular. Just saying. #win8 #toasterovenFTW.’”

It’s nice to see Microsoft exhibiting a sense of humor, is it not?

Meanwhile, Cook called the iPad a “profound product” with “universal appeal” and put its sales into jaw-dropping context. Just two years after Apple sold its first unit, it has shipped 67 million iPads.

“It took us 24 years to sell that many Macs,” Cook said. “And five years for that many iPods. And over three years for that many iPhones. And we were extremely happy with the trajectory on all of those products.”

Wowser. Talk about a Murderer’s Row lineup of products. But, as John Sterling has reminded us umpteen times, “You can’t predict baseball.” Or the tech market.

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