Yesterday, Apple released the results for its 2012 fiscal second quarter (which ran from January 1, 2012 to March 31, 2012) and held a call with analysts to discuss the results. This is often the second best quarter of the year for Apple (the best quarter being the first fiscal quarter containing the holiday sales season) and this year it was also the second best quarter in Apple history. Apple announced sales of $39.2 billion and a profit of $11.6 billion. If you want to get all of the nitty gritty details, you can download the audio from the announcement conference call from iTunes, or you can read a rough transcript of the call prepared by Seeking Alpha. Apple's official press release is here. But if you just want the highlights of the call that might of be of interest to iPhone and iPad users, then you are in the right place.
- Apple sold 35.1 million iPhones last quarter. In the prior quarter (one that broke all records), Apple sold 37 million iPhones. But the 35.1 million sold this past quarter were easily the #2 quarter ever for iPhone sales. The next highest quarter was April to June of 2011 when Apple sold 20 million iPhones.
- Apple sold 11.8 million iPads last quarter. Apple had sold 15.4 million iPads during the prior holiday quarter, and the 11.8 number is similar to the 11.1 million iPads that had been sold July to September of 2011.
- Why is buying iPads? Apple noted that a lot of these sales were to schools. I've seen this first-hand; my son is in Kingergarten and the students at his school use an iPad lab. Apple also saw an uptick in iPad sales to business and government. Tim Cook explained the broad market for iPad sales: "The incredible thing about these are that they span across many verticals, through government, through education, and many different functions within the enterprise. It's absolutely the most broad-based product I have ever seen in my whole career in terms of adoption rate into the enterprise."
- 94% of Fortune 500 companies are testing or deploying the iPad.
- Apple CEO Tim Cook notes that now that Apple is also selling a $399 iPad (the iPad 2 model) in addition to the third generation models starting at $499, Apple is starting to satisfy some demand for a lesser priced iPad, such as from the more price-conscious education sector.
- When asked to compare the iPad to Microsoft's strategy of putting Windows on a tablet as opposed to separating a computer operating system from a tablet operating system, Tim Cook stated: "I think ... anything can be forced to converge, but the problem is that products are about trade-offs, and you begin to make trade-offs to the point where, what you have left at the end of the day doesn't please anyone. You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user. ... Now having said that, I also believe that there is a very good market for the MacBook Air, and we continue to innovate in that product. But I do think that it appeals to someone that has a little bit different requirements. And you wouldn't want to put these things together because you wind up compromising in both and not pleasing either user. Some people will prefer to own both, and that's great, too, but I think to make the compromises of convergence, we're not going to that party. Others might. Others might from a defensive point of view, particularly. But we're going to play in both."
- It was interesting to hear Tim Cook compare the incredible growth in iPad sales to other popular Apple products of years past. He noted that as of this last quarter, "which was just 2 years after we shipped the initial iPad, we sold 67 million. And to put that into context, it took us 24 years to sell that many Macs and 5 years for that many iPods and over 3 years for that many iPhones. And we were extremely happy with the trajectory on all of those products. So, I think, iPad, it's a profound prproduct, the breadth of it is incredible, and the appeal of it is universal. And so I could not be happier with being in the market, and the level at which we're innovating in both the product and the ecosystem here is incredible."
- The App Store now has more than 600,000 apps. Three months ago, Apple announced that there were over 550,000 apps. Over 200,000 of those apps are specifically for the iPad, an increase from 170,000 three months ago.
- What does Tim Cook think about litigation? "You know, I've always hated litigation, and I continue to hate it." As a litigator, I'm feeling a little bummed after hearing that. Cook goes on to explain that he's talking about IP litigation. "We just want people to invent their own stuff. And so if we could get to some kind of arrangement where we could be assured that's the case and a fair settlement on the stuff that's occurred, I would highly prefer to settle versus battle. But the key thing is that it's very important that Apple not become the developer for the world. We need people to invent their own stuff."