Apple had a press-only conference call today in which the company announced (boasted, really) its quarterly earnings. There's a lot of insidery info, or at least info that's too accounting-nerd-focused for anyone to really care about, but the important thing is that downturn or no downturn, Apple is making outrageous amounts of money.
The first quarter of 2010 has been Apple's most profitable non-holiday quarter in history; revenue is up 49%, gross income is up 90%, and, after the announcement, stock prices jumped 7%. In terms of broken-down sales, Mac sales are up 33% and iPhone sales are up a frankly ridiculous 131%, more than doubling last year's first quarter results.
Interestingly, we got one more piece of evidence that the iPod Touch has no business remaining in the "iPod" category, when it should be lumped in with the other iPhone OS devices (the iPhone and iPad). iPod Touch sales were up 63%, yet iPod category sales were down 1%—the dedicated MP3 player market is dying quickly, and old outmoded stalwarts like the iPods Classic, Nano, and Shuffle are losing sales like crazy. But that's okay; the iPhone and its ilk have replaced the iPod as Apple's portable money-printing machine.
The iPad, by the way, is not included in these numbers, as it went on sale after the end of the first fiscal quarter (March 31st). But Apple noted that they are "thrilled" with the sales performance of the iPad, and many of the questions focused on it—will the iPad cannibalize either iPod Touch or Macbook sales, that kind of thing. One analyst, apparently unaware of exactly what "cannibalize" means, asked if the iPad would "cannibalize netbook sales," and Apple spokesman Steve Downling didn't miss the opportunity to bash netbooks once again. "Netbooks don't excel at anything. The iPad excels at lots of things," he said.
Oh, and about that little (read: massive, unprecedented, once-in-a-lifetime, explode-the-entire-Internet huge) leak yesterday? Not a peep. Either Apple doesn't want to talk about it (I wouldn't be surprised if they screen questions) or the analysts and press present weren't interested, because not once did the subject of the iPhone 4's leak arise. But that's okay—we've got more information about it than we can handle, anyway.
The disclosure today was great fun for Apple and Apple fans—the company is doing fantastic, far better than expected, even in troubled financial times. And the first quarter is usually a very slow one—new products are announced, but not yet released, which often diminishes demand for existing products, and there's often no compelling reason to invest in a new gadget (unlike the holidays and back-to-school periods).