As 2010 nears its end, it’s time for companies to share how well (or poorly) they performed during the fourth quarter of the year. As is the norm for Apple, Inc., Q4 has been another record breaker for them. Apple posted a record revenue of $20.34 billion and net quarterly profit of $4.31 billion. Compare this to one year ago, that’s up from a revenue of $12.21 billion and profit of $2.53 billion. Says CEO Steve Jobs: “We are blown away to report over $20 billion in revenue and over $4 billion in after-tax earnings-both all-time records for Apple. iPhone sales of 14.1 million were up 91 percent year-over-year, handily beating the 12.1 million phones RIM sold in their most recent quarter. We still have a few surprises left for the remainder of this calendar year.”
Now let’s break it down by product category. Apple sold 3.89 million Macs during the quarter (representing a 27 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter); 14.1 million iPhones (representing a 91 percent unit growth); 9.05 million iPods (representing an 11 percent unit decline); and 4.19 million iPads were sold, succeeding the number of Macs sold! That’s some crazy stuff right there. And as for Jobs’ “hobby” that is Apple TV? The new model sold 250,000 units over the course of its first 18 days on sale.
Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2011, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer expects revenue of about $23 billion and diluted earnings per share of about $4.80. Saying this was a tremendous quarter for Apple is a huge understatement.
Normally this is where the Apple quarterly earnings post would conclude, but El Jobso couldn’t contain his excitement over the record breaking numbers so he decided to jump onto the conference call (listen to it here) and share some thoughts. Charged thoughts on the competition. Some choice quotes:
On RIM’s business model: “[iPhone] handily beat RIM’s most recent quarter. We’ve now passed RIM and I don’t see them catching up with us in the foreseeable future. They must move beyond their area of strength and comfort into the unfamiliar territory of trying to become a software platform company. I think it’s going to be a challenge for them to create a competitive platform and to convince developers to create apps for yet a third software platform, after iOS and Android. With 300k apps on Apple’s app store, RIM has a high mountain ahead of them to climb.” “I think at least now it’s a battle for developers, and a battle for the mindshare of developers, and a battle for the mindshare of customers, and I think right now iPhone and Android are winning that battle.”
On Google’s Android “openess” & fragmentation: “Google wants to characterize Android as open, and iOS and the iPhone as closed. We think this is disingenuous. Unlike Windows, which has the same interface on every machine, Android is very fragmented. Compare this with iPhone, where every interface is the same.” “Twitter client TwitterDeck recently launched their app for Android. They reported that they had to contend with more than 100 different version of Android software on 244 different handsets. The multiple hardware and software iterations presented developers with a daunting challenge.” “We think this open versus closed argument is a smokescreen that hides the real question: What’s better for users, fragmented versus integrated?” “We are very committed to the integrated approach, no matter how many times Google characterizes it as closed, and we believe that it will trump the fragmented approach, no matter how many times Google characterizes it as open.”
READ MORE Apple reports 2010 Q4 earnings: “highest revenue and earnings ever”; Steve Jobs calls out Google & RIM