Despite Record, Apple's iPhone and iPad Sales Don't Make Everyone Happy

By Craig Galbraith Comments
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Most companies would expect a glowing reaction if they reported a $13.1 billion profit and record sales – but Apple isn't most companies.

The Silicon Valley giant announced this week that it sold a whopping 51 million iPhones and 26 million iPads last quarter, both records. Both numbers also were up from a year ago. But that wasn't enough to satisfy many analysts who were predicting Apple would sell somewhere between 54 million and 56 million iPhones.

That all added up to $57.6 billion in revenue, which also fell short of the $58.1 billion that was expected.

“Finance is the only discipline I know of where companies get blamed for the analysts’ models being wrong," noted Yankee Group's Carl Howe, commenting specifically on a TechCrunch report. "While Apple may not have met analyst expectations, nearly every product category set a new record for the firm. Further, its financial performance really needs to be put in context: Apple’s $57.6 billion in revenue is the largest quarterly revenue ever reported by a technology company, and its $13.1 billion in profits is the fifth-largest quarterly profit reported by any public firm. If these figures fall short of expectations, then perhaps we should revisit our expectations of what success is."

Despite the forecasted doom of the traditional computer, Apple even saw its sales of Macs rise from the same period a year ago. The company's stock has fallen about 9 percent since the numbers were released on Monday afternoon.

"If we focus on just the smartphone business, though, I think the story becomes very simple: Only two firms, Apple and Samsung, make profits from selling smartphones," Howe added. "Samsung sells more phones, but Apple makes more money at it — much much more. It’s difficult for me to see how analysts don’t think that’s a good thing."

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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