Apple Q4 financial results conference call [Live updates!]

Apple Q4 2010 financial results conference call

Apple is set to announce its Q4 financial results today at 5pm ET, 2pm PT. The conference call usually provides a wealth of information about iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad sales, so we'll be listening intently, posting highlights, and giving you our very best color and commentary to go along with it.

If you want to listen along with us, the call will be broadcast on Apple.com.

Commentary starts after the break!

  • Results are in and they are insane: $20.34 billion, 14.1 million iPhones, 4.19 million iPads, 9.05 million iPods in Q4 2010
  • Peter Oppenheimer (PO): Opening remarks, outstanding results. Best ever. All time records. Again. (Did I say insane?)
  • PO: Mac growth. People love iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro... but not as much as iPad.
  • PO: iPod share remains over 70%, iPod top selling, gaining share in most countries.
  • PO: iTunes store over $1 billion in revenue. Ping in 23 countries.
  • PO: iPhone 14.1 million sold, 91% year over year growth.
  • PO: $8.6 billion in iPhone revenue. $8.82 billion including accessories.
  • PO: 156 carriers, 89 countries. Asia, europe, Japan doubled year over year.
  • PO: 80% of fortune 500 piloting iPhone. P&G, GE, Pfiezer, All State, others have made iPhone available to employees.
  • PO: Could have sold more iPhones if we could have supplied them.
  • PO: 4.2 million iPads. 26 countries.
  • PO: 65% of Fortune 100 deploying or piloting iPad. P&G, Lowes, Hyatt, NBC, Novartis are examples.
  • PO: $2.7 billion in iPad revenue. $2.8 billion including accessories.
  • PO: Walmart, Target, Verizon, AT&T new distribution.
  • PO: 125 million iOS devices as of last month.
  • PO: iOS 4.2 coming November.
  • PO: App Store has 200,000 registered developers. 65,000 games/entertainment. 30,000 iPad apps.
  • PO: iAds results so far makes them "happy".
  • PO: Apple retail time.
  • PO: $51 billion in cash.
  • PO: 40 million iPhones sold full-year. 7.5 million iPads in 2 quarters.
  • PO: Apple generated 5x revenue, 10x earnings as 2005.
  • Steve Jobs! (SJ): 14.1 million iPhones represents 91% growth. Handily beat RIM's 12.1 million BlackBerry's sold in most recent quarter. Past RIM, doesn't see them catching up. They must become a software platform company. A challenge for them. A high mountain to climb.
  • SJ: Google activating 200,000 Android devices a day, 90,000 apps. Apple activating 275,000 iOS devices on average, 300,000 peek. Apple has 300,000 apps in its app store.
  • SJ: No sold data on how many Android handsets sold. Manufacturers don't report it. Hopes they will. Waits to see who was the winner in most recent quarter.
  • SJ: Google likes to say Android is open, iOS is closed. Jobs finds that disingenuous. Unlike Windows, Android is very fragmented. Many Android OEMS including Motorola and HTC install proprietary UI, user is left to figure it all out. Every iPhone walks the same. TweetDeck recently launched Twitter Client, had to contend with 100 different versions on 244 different handsets. Many apps only work on some handsets on some versions, on devices shipped less than 12 months ago.
  • SJ: Amazon, Verizon, Voda all creating their own app stores. Customers much search, devs much figure out. Going to be a mess. iOS App Store is one stop shopping.
  • SJ: Even if Google was right, open systems don't always win. PlaysForSure used separated model, even Microsoft abandoned that, turned to Zune, left OEM empty handed.
  • SJ: Open vs. closed is smokescreen. What's better for customer, fragmented or integrated? Android is getting more fragmented every day. Users shouldn't be system integrators. Huge difference in approach. Apple thinks just works will trump Google's approach every time. Better for developers.
  • SJ: Apple confident integrated will triumph over Google no matter how much Google calls it open.
  • SJ: Other tables appear to be just a handful of credible entrants. Almost all use 7" screens compared to iPad 10". Would offer 70% of benefits. But only 45% as large because of diagonal measure. 7" screens a bit smaller than bottom half of iPad screen. Not big enough to make great tablet apps.
  • SJ: Apple has done extensive testing, really understand this stuff. Limits to how close you can place elements for usability. Why 10" is minimum size for great tablet apps.
  • SJ: Every tablet user is also smartphone user. No tablet can fit in your pocket. Giving up precious diplay area to fit tablets in pockets isn't the way to go. Tweeners.
  • SJ: Many use Android software, even Google, tells manufacturers not to use Froyo. What does it mean when your software supplier says not to use the software and you ignore it?
  • SJ: iPad now has more than 35,000 apps. New tablets will have 0.
  • SJ: Competitors have a tough time coming close to iPad pricing even with smaller screen. Apple creates own chip, battery chemistry, enclosure, everything. Incredible product, incredible price. Competitors will likely offer less for more.
  • SJ: New crop of tablets will likely be DOA. Too small. Will increase size next year, abandon customers and developers who went 7-inch.
  • Tim Cook (TC): iPad supply constraints a balance with new launches.
  • SJ: iPad proves not a question of if, a question of when it will effect PC. Lots of interest in education. Not pushing hard in business but being grabbed out of their hands. Being shipped instead of board books, doctors, hospitals. The more time that passes, the more Jobs is convinced they have a tiger by the tail. New model of computing. 10s of millions already trained on with iPhone. Lends itself to lots of aspects of life, personal, educational, business.
  • SJ: Any updates on Flash? They love Flash memory! [Haha!]
  • TC: Demand for iPhone 4 took it to an entirely different level, even higher than anticipated.
  • SJ: Most web video is now HTML5, App Store, iTunes, dwarfs everything else. Very good product, hard to match, Apple's not done. Doesn't know what strategies competitors could take. Apple out to win.
  • SJ: Largest phone market not smartphones, many will convert to smartphones, pie will continue to grow. Room for some number of companies will be successful. Later will turn into zero sum game or close to it. Right now it's a battle for developers, customers. Right now iPhone and Android winning.
  • SJ: Apple TV has gone streaming. Complete streaming. Soon to be streamed from iPhone or iPad with AirPlay. Already sold 250,000. When AirPlay is in place it will be another big reason to buy it. Apple really happy.
  • PO: $100 million deferred for bumper program.
  • SJ: Apple's goal is to make best devices, not biggest. That's Nokia. Apple admires how many they ship but don't aspire to be like them. Android is biggest competitor, out shipped Apple in June during iPhone transition. Waiting to find out what happened in this quarter. Doesn't know how they'll find out, Gartner maybe? Will be competing with them for quite some time. Apple believes in their approach very strongly -- providing users with a product that just works. Might be lots of users who want Google's approach as well.
  • SJ: Nokia makes $50 handsets. Apple isn't smart enough to figure out how to make a good phone for that price. Apple's goal is to make best, breakthrough products, drive costs down, make products better. That's what they did with iPod. Update every year with better functionality at same or lower price. It was relentless improvement, in some cases at lower price, that beat competition, yielded market share. Apple has single digit phone market share, high marketshare in tablet because they're first mover. Reason they wouldn't make 7-inch tablet isn't because of price point, it's because they think it's too small to express the right software. Apple is a software-first company. Developers aren't going to deal really well with different screen sizes, when they can't put enough elements on screen to build the apps they want to build. 7-inches isn't about cost, it's about value when you factor in software.
  • SJ: Can't assume software will take care of itself. Can't just put in less memory, slower processor, assume software will come alive. It won't. App developers have taken advantage of products that came before. It puts you back into chicken-and-egg. Won't follow you. Won't write watered down version of app because you can sell a phone for $50 less.
  • SJ: Buy backs and dividends have been suggested but we think opportunities could come along that they could take advantage of. Don't make stupid acquisitions but want to keep powder dry for 1 or 2 strategic acquisitions in the future.
  • TC: Never seen enterprise adoption as fast as iPad. K-12 also adopting faster than historically. Adding capacity internally to call on businesses, huge amount also calling on education. AT&T direct result of customers wanting to buy iPad on post-pad.
  • That's it folks! Thanks!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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$20.34 billion, 14.1 million iPhones, 4.19 million iPads, 9.05 million iPods in Q4 2010

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Apple Q4 financial results conference call [Live updates!]

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just because i know its going to be good im going to buy a ton of stock right now then dump half of it tomorrow at closing

@Matthew- should have bought last week when stock surged in anticipation of this. You're a little late to the party.

I'm predicting a good finical quarter. But I really just want someone to ask about the mythical white iPhone 4. Really don't want to wait until Wednesday.

Predictions/responses to questions:

  • No, but they will focus on sales of well over 10 million iOS devices in total (iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch) in one quarter.
  • Probably not, but close enough that if Apple counts deliveries to Walmart and Target as sales (like some companies do, even if the product is not yet sold to an end customer), they will claim it.
  • No dancing; he will just say discussion of future designs are not appropriate for a discussion of the previous quarter's results, and move on.
  • He will say Mac sales were strong in q4, and that announcements later in the week should help them be even stronger in the upcoming quarter.

@Geo Coldz sigh :( but then again, the iPad is still plenty sufficient in the portability area.

"TweetDeck recently launched Twitter Client, had to contend with 100 different versions on 244 different handsets. Many apps only work on some handsets on some versions, on devices shipped less than 12 months ago."
Slightly true, most phones have already made the switch to 2.1 or 2.2. About Tweetdeck? There were multiple versions... as a beta, not once was I ever given a specific version for a specific handset. Android OS takes care of resizing applications to fit a screen.

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