Apple breaks iPhone sales record again

But iPad 2 suffering from 'mother of all backlogs,' says exec

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Also important to remember, said Gottheil, is that while Apple has several years of experience in predicting iPhone sales -- and matching that with production -- it has only one year with the iPad.

"I'd argue that Apple did customers a favor by telling them, 'Oh, by the way there's a hot new one out soon,'" Gottheil said, talking about Apple's February announcement that it would start shipping the iPad 2 the following month.

Apple sold 3.8 million Macs, off last quarter's 4.1 million but 28% more than the same quarter in 2010. This was the first quarter in the last six that Apple did not set a new Mac sales record, but the 20th consecutive quarter it beat the computer industry average growth rate.

Last week, IDC and Gartner estimated that global industry sales contracted by 3.2% and 1.1%, respectively.

"The Mac is kicking butt in the PC world," Gottheil said.

Oppenheimer credited continued strong sales of the MacBook Air, which debuted in 2010, and renewed sales of the MacBook Pro line -- the latter was refreshed last February -- for the boost to Mac numbers.

Apple racked up 2.8 million notebook sales, an increase of 53% over than the same quarter of 2010, but down 5% from the even stronger final and holiday-oriented fourth quarter of last year.

Desktop sales were off 12% from the same period last year, a much steeper decline than 2010's final quarter, when the fall-off was just 1%.

CEO Steve Jobs, who remains on an indefinite medical leave that started in January, did not participate in today's call. But Oppenheimer stepped in to knock Android, Google's mobile operating system, a task that Jobs has taken on in the past.

"Users appreciate that Apple can take full responsibility [for the platform]," said Oppenheimer after criticizing the "fragmentation" of Android, a term Apple uses to describe the multiple versions of the OS on handsets from multiple manufacturers. "Android turns customers into system integrators, and there are few customers I know who want to be a system integrator."

"Someone did some brainstorming to come up with that one," Gottheil said.

"But Apple has reason to be concerned about Android," Gottheil continued. "Google is working quickly to ameliorate early problems with Android. Apple will not dominate the smartphone market alone, but it's end-to-end coverage is going to appeal to a large part of the market."

Apple also took questions about its recent lawsuit against Samsung, a long-time supplier of components for the iPhone, as well as the newer iPad 2.

The two companies squared off last Friday when Apple filed a lawsuit in a U.S. federal court, charging Samsung with 10 counts of patent infringement, two of trademark violation and two of trade dress violations for allegedly copying the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch to make its Galaxy Tab and Galaxy smartphones.

"We are Samsung's largest customer," Cook said. "But they crossed the line."

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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