Six Things to Note from Apple's Earnings Call
Every earnings call by Apple is closely watched as it provides insights to how well the company is performing. Apple's financial results for its fiscal 2013 fourth quarter are nothing short of spectacular. Here's a list of six major talking points from Apple's earning calls:
Quarterly Revenue, Net Profit and Gross Margin
Apple announced that its quarterly revenue and net profit are US$37.5 billion and US$7.5 billion respectively. In comparison, Apple had a revenue of US$36 billion and a net profit of US$8.2 million in the same quarter a year ago. Its gross margin dropped to 37% compared to 40% in the year-ago quarter
Apple sold a total of 33.8 million iPhones, 14.1 million iPads, 4.6 million Macs and 3.5 million iPods. A year ago in the same quarter, Apple sold 26.9 million iPhones, 14 million iPads, 4.9 million Macs and 6.75 million iPods.
The huge increase in iPhone sales is no doubt driven by the record sales of the iPhone 5S and 5C in the launch's weekend where over 9 million units were sold. iPad sales remain stagnant given the anticipation for the new iPads which were announced a week ago.
64-bit Processor is just the "front-end of a long roadmap"
According to Slash Gear, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared his thoughts on the 64-bit processor in the iPhone 5S and iPads. Cook mentioned that whatever consumers see today is "front-end of a long roadmap". Cook went on to reiterate that the company remains focused on what the customers think and that the company is "really off to a great start."
Exciting new product categories from Apple in 2014
What we've seen so far from Apple are the iPhone 5S, 5C, iPad Air, iPad mini with Retina Display, MacBook Pros and Mac Pro. These new products are from existing categories such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. However, Apple has yet to introduce the next big thing.
Cook stated during the earnings call that 2014 presents big opportunities for new product categories. He went on to say that Apple will use its skills to build new categories in areas that it has not participated today and he is confident in that.
This is the strongest hint yet that Apple has something in the pipeline that could possibly take the industry by storm the way the iPhone did in 2007 and the iPad did in 2010. Could he be referring to the iWatch that Apple is rumored to be working on?
Stocks of iPad mini with Retina Display may not be sufficient to meet demands
During the launch of the new iPads, Apple said that the iPad mini with Retina display will ship later in November. This raised concerns that Apple ran into problems manufacturing sufficient iPad minis due to low yields of the Retina display.
Cook said that he is unclear whether Apple has enough for the quarter although he knows how many the company has at the moment. Although Cook is expecting "an iPad Christmas", we reckon that consumers who are eyeing the new iPad minis may not get theirs in time for the festive season if demand really outstrips supply.
iPhone 5C is Apple's mid tier offering
Apple's pricing strategy for the new iPhones continued to leave analysts and consumers baffled as the iPhone 5C is priced just a tad lower than the flagship iPhone 5S.
Responding to a question on this, Cook reaffirmed that it "was never our intent" to position the iPhone 5C as an entry-level model. The iPhone 5C, in his words, is a mid-tier device. He went on to state that the iPhone 4S is the entry-level model which is a "fantastic product" with access to the iOS ecosystem.
We shared the same sentiments as Apple when we reviewed the iPhone 5C. We felt that rumors and baseless reports have painted a wrong picture about the iPhone 5C as an entry-level device.
Sources: Apple, Engadget (1) (2), Slash Gear (1) (2), AllThingsD