Apple sets revenue record during recession

Execs say Mac sales up 9 percent, also call netbooks 'inferior' and dodge questions about Jobs

Although the recession is deepening and sales of rivals are softening, Apple yesterday announced it had set a single-quarter revenue record in the last three months of 2008, selling more than 2.5 million Macs and 4.3 million iPhones.

Apple sold 1.8 million notebooks and 728,000 desktops in its first fiscal quarter, which ended December 31, 2008, an increase of 34 percent for the former, but a drop of 25 percent for the latter over the same quarter last year. Overall, Apple sold 9 percent more Macs during the period than it did in the last three months of 2007, although Mac sales revenue was effectively flat year-to-year.

The number of Macs sold in the quarter was down 3% from the previous quarter.

"Mac sales have not suffered as much as one might have feared," said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research. "Apple's rate of growth was much slower, but it's clear that the new MacBook was a major winner."

Apple unveiled new all-aluminum "unibody" MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks in late October, and counter to what many thought at the time, reduced the price only for the remaining low-end MacBook with the plastic case.

During the quarter, total revenues were US$10.2 billion, a new single-quarter record, said Apple chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer in a Wednesday afternoon conference call with Wall Street analysts.

During the call, Oppenheimer used the phrase "extremely proud" several times to describe the bottom line for the period, while chief operating officer Tim Cook bragged that Apple had been able to maintain strong notebook sales even in the face of a generally lousy economy.

"We were very pleased with the overall Mac portable share gain," said Oppenheimer, who called out the unibody notebooks as driving sales since their October launch.

According to outside analysts, however, Apple actually lost market share, at least in the US, when desktops were added to the mix. Last week, Gartner's Mikako Kitagawa estimated Apple's domestic share of sales had slipped to 8 percent, down from 9.5 percent the quarter before.

Oppenheimer acknowledged the slide of desktop sales, which were off 25 percent year-to-year and down 22 percent from the previous quarter, but as he did, he put forward a pair of reasons for the plummet. One, he said, was the very strong sales of the just-released iMac in late-2007, and the tough time matching that volume in 2008. The other reason was simply a reflection of the market as a whole, which increasingly tilts toward laptops, he said.

Gottheil added a third: slowing sales in the K-12 education market, which typically buys desktops.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags steve jobsApple

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?