Apple Posts Record Profits, but iPad Sales Fall Short

Apple on Wednesday announced record profits and revenues for its most recent quarter, during which time iPhone sales more than doubled compared with the same quarter a year earlier. But iPad sales were far lower than analyst estimates.

Apple posted a net profit of $5.99 billion on revenues of $24.67 billion for the quarter ending March 26, 2011. Profits were up 95 percent year over year, while revenues jumped 83 percent. Apple's gross margin fell again, however, to 41.4 percent because of the company's increasing reliance on higher-volume but lower-margin devices.

"We're firing on all cylinders," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a prepared statement. "We will continue to innovate on all fronts throughout the remainder of the year."

Apple's most impressive stat for the quarter, perhaps, was for the iPhone 4, which experienced 113 percent sales growth, year over year, and sold 18.65 million units. Strong continued sales of the iPhone 4—which is one of Apple's most egregiously flawed hardware products—may explain recent rumors that the company was delaying a next-generation iPhone from mid-year until September.

Mac sales are also surging, thanks to strong MacBook Air and MacBook Pro sales. Apple sold 3.76 million Macs in the quarter, up 28 percent year over year.

For the second time in the past year, quarterly sales of the iPad fell far below expectations: Apple sold 4.69 million units, compared with an expected 6.25 million. Apple said it was frustrated by not being able to meet demand for the popular new iPad 2, which entered the market March 11.

"We sold every iPad 2 that we could make during the quarter," Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said during a conference call after the earnings were announced. "Demand on iPad 2 has been staggering," Apple COO Tim Cook later corroborated, noting that the recent tsunami in Japan wouldn't affect iPad 2 production.

Apple also sold 9 million iPods in the quarter—a 17 percent decline, but in line with expectations. And it's likely that most iPod sales are for the relatively expensive iPod touch models.

In the conference call, Apple also reported that it now has over $65 billion in cash assets. With regards to Steve Jobs, who has been on a medical leave since January, Cook said, "We do see him on a regular basis, and he continues to be involved in major strategic decisions, and I know he wants to be back full time as soon as he can."
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