Apple reported its fiscal Q4 financial results last night, and they were pretty strong.
Revenues up 27% year-on-year to $36bn, net profits up 24% to $8.2bn, and a cash mountain of $121.3bn at the end of the quarter (which TechCrunch notes could “buy Amazon or a space station, and still have some left”).
Device-wise, Apple sold 26.9m iPhones (up 58%), 14m iPads (up 26%) and 5.3m iPods (down 19%) during the quarter, with iPod touch accounting for around half of the iPods total.
Apple’s iTunes Store, App Store and iBooks Store generated nearly $2.1bn of revenues in the quarter, and there are now more than 190m registered iCloud accounts.
Music was barely mentioned in the results or following analyst call, but as the figures were being announced, rumours about Apple’s plans for a personal radio service were reappearing courtesy of Bloomberg. Its report claims that Apple “has intensified talks with major music labels to start an advertising supported streaming-radio competitor to Pandora Media Inc. by early next year”.
New details include the suggestion that Apple is “pushing for earlier access to new releases” – which puts its reported machinations over new albums appearing on Spotify into perspective – and the claim that the new service will be available for iOS devices, but not through web browsers.
Apple’s iAd platform is expected to provide the monetisation, but both Bloomberg and CNET suggest labels are looking for a share of those advertising revenues, rather than purely per-stream royalties. The speculation isn’t good for Pandora though: its shares plunged more than 12% last night just on the strength of Bloomberg’s report.