Shares in Apple fell 10% last night on the disastrous news that the company had posted record revenues of $54.5bn and a record net profit of $13.1bn in the final quarter of 2012 (the company’s fiscal Q1).
Analysts were clearly spooked by the woeful 47.8m iPhones and 22.9m iPads sold during the quarter, and the unimpressive $23bn of cash flow from operations generated in the three-month period.
Yes, Wall Street analysts still hammered Apple’s stock, despite the startling figures – a mixture of caution over future growth for the company and competition from the likes of Samsung. Legitimate questions.
A useful comparison point, though: Google hit $50bn revenues for a whole calendar year for the first time in 2012 – a figure surpassed by Apple in a single quarter. It’s not doomed just yet, in other words.
Digging into some of the more relevant stats from the quarterly earnings, though: Apple sold 75m iOS devices during the quarter, taking it past the 500m mark since the launch of the first iPhone.
The iTunes Store generated $2.1bn of revenues during the quarter, with new records set for music, film and app revenues, with 2bn app downloads in December alone, and 250m registered iCloud accounts. The company has now paid out more than $7bn to iOS app developers.
Unsurprisingly, Apple didn’t let anything slip about its rumoured iRadio service in its analyst call, although CEO Tim Cook did say “We are working on some incredible stuff. The pipeline is chock-full”.
In the meantime, Apple is selling more music than ever through iTunes, but music’s importance to the wider fortunes of the company is clearly diminished from the heyday of the iPod.
Which is not a reason to feel downhearted: those 75m iOS device sales represent the real opportunity for the music industry going forward: the platform for a range of third-party services to provide mobile access to music.