Apple reports 'jaw-dropping' iPhone sales

Posted by Hitarth Jani | 8:43 PM | 0 comments »

Apple has reported a 26 per cent profit jump in the last quarter thanks in large part to sales of its new iPhone 3G which outsold the market-leading BlackBerry smartphone from Research in Motion Ltd.

Apple sold a staggering 6.9 million of its iPhone 3Gs in the quarter, more than the 6.1 million total first-generation iPhones sold. The iPhone launched July 11 and is available in more than 50 countries.

Research in Motion reported it sold 6.1 million BlackBerry smart phones in the quarter that ended August 30.

Edward Jones analyst Bill Kreher said overtaking RIM in such short order was a "tremendous accomplishment".

"It's jaw-dropping," Kreher said.

On a conference call with analysts, chief executive Steve Jobs claimed the result made Apple the world's third largest mobile phone company, based on revenues.

"But even more remarkable is this: measured by revenues, Apple has become the world's third largest mobile phone supplier. I know this sounds crazy, but it's true. As measured in revs, not units, Apple has become the third largest mobile phone supplier."

Based on revenues, Nokia and Samsung are first and second.

Apple also set quarterly records for Macintosh and iPod sales. Apple said it sold 2.6 million Macs and 11.1 million iPods, further allaying fears that the sluggish economy would weigh on Apple's back-to-school sales.

California-based Apple's profit reached $US1.14 billion ($A1.62 billion), or $US1.26 per share. Sales jumped 27 per cent to $US7.9 billion ($A11.2 billion) in the three months that ended in September.

Despite the blockbuster performance, which sent Apple's shares soaring in after-hours trading, the company issued what it called "prudent" predictions for the current quarter, because of broader economic uncertainty.

On the conference call, Jobs addressed concerns that economic weakness will eat into Apple's business through the holidays and beyond.

Jobs said Apple's customers are more likely to put off buying a new computer than to defect to other brands of PCs with lower prices. Apple, which is sitting on about $US25 billion in cash, could use the downturn to invest in research and development, he said.

"We may get buffeted around by the waves a little bit, but we'll be fine," Jobs said.

The company said Mac sales growth was hit as educational institutions cut back on computer purchases, and as regular consumers waited for news of new laptops, which Apple unveiled last week.

Apple's profit topped Wall Street's expectations, but sales missed. Thomson Reuters says analysts had expected the company to sell $US8 billion ($A11.35 billion) worth of Macintosh computers, iPods, iPhones and other gadgets, for a profit of $US1.11 per share.