Analysis

Apple reports another monster quarter with $18bn profit


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apple-logo-fontEven by its own standards, Apple’s latest quarterly financials are startling. In the final three months of 2014, the company generated $74.6bn of revenues and posted a profit of $18bn – the most profitable quarter ever in any field, beating Russian energy firm Gazprom’s $16.2bn from 2011.

Apple sold 74.5m iPhones during the quarter, as well as 21.4m iPads and 5.5m Mac computers. In the world of smart devices, Android may have the biggest market share, but iOS is driving the biggest profits.

And iPhones are also selling like hot cakes in emerging markets: sales doubled in China, Brazil and Singapore compared to the final three months of 2013, for example. “We’re doing well in virtually every corner of the world,” said CEO Tim Cook in Apple’s earnings call with analysts last night. He added that the company shipped its one billionth iOS device in November.

What about Apple’s content business? “Total sales of media and software from iTunes were $2.6bn, compared to $2.4bn in the year ago quarter,” said chief financial officer Luca Maestri. This growth continues to be driven by apps rather than music, though: revenues through iOS’ App Store grew 41% in the last quarter, as Apple passed the milestone of $25bn paid out to developers since the store’s launch in 2008.

Finally, Cook’s remarks about Apple Watch – the company’s first smartwatch – have made plenty of headlines overnight. “Development for Apple Watch is right on schedule and we expect to begin shipping in April,” said Cook, in the first announcement of a specific month for the device’s release.

“Developers are hard at work on apps, notifications and information summaries that we call Glances, all designed specifically for the Watch’s user interface. The creativity and software innovation going on around Apple Watch is incredibly exciting.”

Stuart Dredge

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