Mac sales hit all-time record; 50% are first-time buyers
- Good news all the way around. Many of the first-time buyers are
familiar with WP; many will look for an unbloated, competent,
intuitive and elegant word processing program, and will be happy
to find that the best one on the Mac is also free.
New York Times, October 23, 2007
Record Mac Sales Help Apple Earnings Climb 67% in
By John Markoff
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 22 Apple reported earnings on Monday
that leapt ahead of analysts' already optimistic expectations on
record sales of its Macintosh computers.
The numbers showed that the company was slowly climbing
back into the league of the dominant personal computer
makers, Hewlett-Packard and Dell.
Apple reported fourth-quarter profit of $904 million, or
$1.01 a share, up from $542 million, or 62 cents, in the
quarter a year ago, an increase of 67 percent. Analysts had
predicted profit of 85 cents a share.
Sales rose to $6.22 billion, from $4.84 billion. Gross
margin also surged, to 33.6 percent, from 29.2 percent a
Apple said it sold 2.16 million Macintosh computers
worldwide in the quarter, an increase of 400,000 over the
previous record. It does not break out domestic and foreign
The market research firm Dataquest estimated last week that
Apple sold 1.3 million computers in the United States, and
IDC put the figure at 1.1 million. In the same period, Dell
sold 5 million computers and H.P. sold 4.3 million in the
United States, according to the IDC report.
Apple introduced a minor mystery during a conference call
with analysts and reporters. In response to analysts'
questions, Timothy Cook, Apple's chief operating officer,
acknowledged that as many as 250,000 iPhones had been
purchased but then not activated for service with AT&T,
Apple's exclusive wireless partner in the United States.
This is important because Apple receives payments based on
each iPhone subscription with AT&T.
Mr. Cook said he thought the phones had had their digital
locks broken, presumably so they could be used with another
carrier, but he said he was not certain what had become of
them. There have been reports of people buying iPhones and
unlocking them for resale overseas.
Apple's stock skyrocketed in after-hours trading, rising
almost 7 percent, to $186.35. The company is in the midst
of one of the strongest stretches of its three-decade
history, with recently revamped iPods selling briskly and a
new version of its operating system scheduled to appear
Moreover, the company said it expected its strong growth to
continue into the holiday quarter.
"We're looking forward to our best December quarter ever,"
said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's chief financial
Mr. Cook cited strong European growth but said Japan
continued to be the company's "most challenging" market. He
also noted that the company had grown faster than the
overall personal computer market for 11 of the past 12
quarters, and he pointed in particular to an extraordinary
back-to-school market. Sales were so strong that Apple
forecast relatively flat Macintosh sales for the holiday
"It's becoming chronic," said Charles Wolf, a financial
analyst who publishes Wolf Bytes, an industry newsletter.
"The beauty is that their market share is so low that they
have a huge upside potential."
For the coming quarter, Mr. Oppenheimer forecast revenue of
$9.2 billion and earnings of $1.42 a share. The revenue
amount is about $700 million above what Wall Street
analysts have been projecting.
One of the company's strongest indications that it will see
continued growth is its report that more than 50 percent of
those who purchased Macintosh computers in its chain of 197
stores during the quarter were first-time Mac buyers.
Analysts also noted that although Apple has been criticized
in the past for not competing on price, it is now taking
advantage of its brand recognition.
"They've been dinged for not playing in the sub-$1,000,
sub-$500 price range," said Michael McGuire, a consumer
electronics industry analyst at Gartner Inc., a market
research firm. "Looking at their margins and income, I can
see why they don't want to sell there."
The company said that its sales partnership with Best Buy,
which it is expanding to 270 from 230 stores, appeared to
be successful. Apple said its retail channel inventory at
the end of the quarter was below what it had expected.
Although it has been on the market for just one
quarter, the iPhone is set to be a major product for Apple.
The company said last month that it had reached the
one-million sold mark.
Apple's stock shot up after a strong earnings report in
July, but it then fell through the middle of August amid
concerns that the iPhone might not maintain its early
On Sept. 14, the company cut the price of the iPhone by
$200 and offered early purchasers a $100 rebate, indicating
that concerns about slowing sales had been justified. Since
then Apple's stock has climbed steadily.
Apple has said previously that it expects to sell 10
million iPhones by the end of 2008. Some analysts say the
company will easily surpass that figure. Mr. Wolf said he
expected the company to sell 14 million phones in its first
year and a half.
- --- John Rethorst <jrethorst@...> wrote:
> Many of the first-time buyers...Hi,
> will be happy
> to find that the best one on the Mac is also free.
Do you mean that WP is "on" the Mac or "for" the Mac?
I know it's free, but I think it would be very big
news if Macs came pre-loaded with WP.
> New York Times, October 23, 2007
> Record Mac Sales Help Apple Earnings Climb 67% in
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Daryl Chinn <darylngee@...> wrote:
> Do you mean that WP is "on" the Mac or "for" the Mac?for the Mac.
> I know it's free, but I think it would be very big
> news if Macs came pre-loaded with WP.