Thursday, January 22, 2009

Apple's Amazing Quarter Proves Me Wrong - Dead Wrong!

In yesterday's post I asked the question, "What's wrong with Apple's stock?" Well, today I'm happy to answer: NOTHING - absolutely nothing at all!

It seems that, unlike previous times in the past, many times to be exact, Apple's stock traditionally nosed dived after posting it's numbers, but happily this time, they took off like a Saturn V rocket. Usually, and despite good numbers, including some pretty cool record breaking on Apple's part, analysts would always still seem to dump on the stock, and sending it, as a result, straight to the pits! I've seen it happen many times before and I was actually preparing myself for the same, this time around.

Well, I'm very happy to report that I was DEAD WRONG! It was the type of prediction that I was hoping I would be wrong on and, thankfully, I was! In fact, not only did Apple post some great numbers, but it went on to report that it had broken all previous records in it's entire 30-year history - and for the first time, Apple's quarterly revenues managed to top the more than 10 billion dollars mark! As impressive as that was, what's really impressive is the fact that when you take in deferred income from the iPhone, that 10 billion dollars is actually well over 11 billion dollars, and much closer to 12 billion!

Those are huge and pretty impressive numbers indeed, and numbers which saw Apple's already big fat piggy bank increase to well over $28 billion dollars! This makes it undoubtedly one of the largest corporate piggy banks in the world. That, my dear, two or three readers of mine, is even more than big old Microsoft's cash hoard! Wow.... now that's what I call really - really impressive indeed!

What's really even more remarkable about all of this is that this all happened when it really shouldn't have - in the middle of one of the worst recessions in recorded history! Remarkable, remarkable indeed!

Way to go Apple!

When it came to the Mac, the recession be damned, because despite all of the gloom and doom of the present market the Mac still grew by a very respectable 9% overall. That's well over 2.5 million units sold, with the majority of them coming from the MacBook line, which itself grew by a whopping 34%! Sadly, like that of most other desktops, the Mac desktop line saw a rather disappointing 24% drop.

The iPod, by the way, was clearly the biggest surprise of all - almost 23 million of them where sold in the quarter - an all time record! This is truly amazing, because analysts have been predicting for years now that the iPod faze was coming to an end. Clearly this isn't the case and they have been proven wrong yet again, and who knows - maybe it's the analysts time that should be coming to an end? With just under 23 million iPod's sold in the quarter, I'm guessing that this is far more units than all of Apple's rivals shipped combined, including Microsoft's Zune! Of course, let's just hope that Apple doesn't let their guard down, because you never know - you know - Microsoft and others could sneak up from behind, if they're not careful! I doubt it, but, as I said, you never know - you know?

When it came to the iPhone, sales where good, but not quite as good as the 6 million plus units sold in the previous quarter. Still, with over 4 million units sold the iPhone is still a force to be reckoned with, and one of the most interesting things to come out of the earnings call was the statement that Apple wasn't interested in producing any type of cheaper iPhone at all. He said they were not interested in the number of iPhones sold, but rather the quality and that it, the iPhone, was the best possible  smart phone of all time!

Does this mean that all of those rumors concerning a iPhone Nano are not true? Hell if I know, but I do expect that, considering the importance of the device for Apple, we can still expect to see newer and more advance models in the coming months, and models specifically designed to 'one-up' the increasingly crowded market of 'iPhone copycats'.

This all lead up to yet another remarkable statement coming from Tim Cook, who, when asked about the competition, and especially between the similarities of the new Palm Pre and that of the iPhone, which, by the way, it not only copies many of it's IP's, but as well, many of those from OS X's desktop as well! This, of course, is when it got really - really interesting indeed, as Mr. Cook surprised the reporter by answering:

"We like competition, as long as they don't rip off our [intellectual property], and if they do, we're going to go after anyone who does."

And, as well, Tim also went on to add:

"Don't want to talk about any specific company, just making a general statement. We are ready to suit up and go against anyone. However, we will not stand for having our IP ripped off and will use whatever weapons we have at our disposal."

Well, I remember very well Steve Jobs clearly saying as much, and that Apple would vigorously defend any or all of their more than 200 iPhone patents, including many that Palm's Pre and other iPhone copycats, including Google's Android, seem to be copying. Could they now find themselves being legally targeted by Apple? I don't know, but I would think that John Rubenstein and Palm should be quaking in their boots at such a statement, at least, I know that I would be.

Could this also mean possibly that Apple will even go after Microsoft's new OS X inspired TaskBar in Windows 7 too? Or how about their Surface initiative? I don't know, but if they ever did, Apple at least has one major advantage over that of Microsoft, namely - it has a hell of a lot more money! Personally, I'm really glad to see Apple defending their intellectual property this way. It seems that every patent troll in the world either has, or is suing Apple for this or that alleged patent infraction, so, if you ask me, it's about time Apple did the same likewise and starts showing them who's the boss!

Well, there you go - another amazing quarter for the giant from Silicon Valley, and one achieved in the face of a very, very ugly recession. Apple did it this time around, but with the recession taking down big banks, Circuit City and many other giant companies, can Apple really be expected to continuously keep achieving the same type of results going forward? Well, if anybody can do it - I would think that it would be Apple. So far, they have proven that's it's at least possible with and by their latest results. That doesn't mean they will, of course, in the future continue to do so, because, and very clearly, that will end up depending on just how long and just how deep the recession will continue to be, but I'm sure hoping that they can and that they do.

As great as Apple's first quarterly earnings are, I can't help but think how much better these same results would have been if we were not in such increasingly desperate economic times? It's hard to say, of course, but lets all hope that not only will Apple continue to prosper and continue to go on to greater heights of innovation, but let's all hope and pray that the whole economy, in general, will likewise also do the same?

Apple yesterday proved me and many others wrong, but now that's it's miraculous earnings are over and done with, I can only hope, that it, being the 22nd of the month, that Apple will finally go on and produce just one more miracle for the week - by announcing a new Intel i7 Quad-Core, 25th. Anniversary iMac!

This Saturday just happens to be the Mac's big 25th. anniversary, so please Apple - can I please have my new 28 inch 25th. Anniversary iMac by tomorrow or at least this coming Saturday please... pretty, pretty please? If you can miraculously produce record breaking quarters in the mother of all recessions, surely a new Anniversary iMac isn't too much to ask for, now is it?

And that's my 2 cents 4 this Thursday, January 22, 2009

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