Apple earnings call: largest quarterly revenue in its history, $46.3 billion


Apple’s quarterly earnings call surmising sales during the fourth quarter has ended, and the outcome is as we all expected: records were broken and the company has reported its largest revenue period in history. Here’s a quick breakdown of where all the money came from.

  • iPhones sold: 37.04 million (up 128-percent year over year)
  • iPads sold: 15.43 million (up 111-percent y.o.y.)
  • Macs sold: 5.3 million (up 26 percent y.o.y.)
  • iPods sold: 15.4 million (down 21-percent y.o.y.)
  • Total revenue this quarter: $46.3 billion

That’s the largest ever quarterly revenue reported by a company in history, and beats its third quarter earnings by 73-percent.

According to COO Peter Oppenheimer, Apple tremendously surpassed its own expectations for this quarter, much of which is thanks to its iPhone, iPad, and Mac sales. Oppenheimer says the international rollout of the iPhone 4S, holiday sales of the iPad and increasingly enterprise adoption in both these segments has hugely spurred growth.

To that end, it’s clear that the iPhone 4S was the right product to launch this past year. CEO Tim Cook addressed this, saying iPhone sales far exceeded Apple’s projections—which he called “bold”—and that the manufacturer had been short of supply through the quarter.

In response to questions about tablet competition (and names were named: the Kindle Fire), Cook reaffirmed his belief in the iPad standing above the rest. “The ecosystem for the iPad is in a class by itself,” he says. “This [the iPad] is a huge opportunity for Apple over time and I really believe that there will come a day that the tablet market, in units, is larger than the PC market.” He mentioned that the iPad easily surpasses apps over the competition, also pointing out that he doesn’t “see these other tablets and e-readers doing as well… people won’t settle for them” because they truly aren’t as multifunctional.

“We’re just going to continue to innovate like crazy in this area,” he says.

So now Apple will have to ask itself: what to do with all that money? Oppenheimer says that Apple is constantly discussing what to do with its cash balance (which stands at $97.6 billion, an increase of $16 billion since last year). When asked to specify what that means, the COO said when there’s something to announce, Apple will let us know. He noted the company is “not letting [the money] burn a hole in our pockets.”

The question on everyone’s mind is likely Apple TV, to which Cook would only say “in the scheme of things we still classify this as a hobby.” He noted Apple sold 1.4 million of the devices last quarter, an Apple TV quarterly record. 

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