Apple wows with record iPhone and iPad sales, largest revenues

The company 'knocked it out of the park,' one analyst said

Apple has reported a record number of iPhone and iPad sales in the second quarter of 2011, powering revenues of $28.6 billion, also a record.

Brian White, an analyst at Ticonderoga Securities, simply used the word "wow" in the title of a note to his clients.

"Apple deliver[ed] nothing short of a blowout performance," White said in that note on Tuesday.

Apple's revenues exceeded the $20 billion mark the fourth consecutive quarter, and the $28.6 billion represented an 82% increase over revenue in the same period last year.

Apple's quarterly revenue was significantly higher than Wall Street's average projection of $25 billion, and it was 24% higher than the company's own conservative estimate three months ago of just $23 billion.

Apple reported profits of $7.31 billion, yet another record for a quarter, up 125% from the same quarter of 2010.

"They knocked it out of the park," Brian Marshall, an analyst at Gleacher & Co., told Computerworld after Apple's earnings call on Tuesday. "They just crushed it."

Marshall, other analysts and Apple executives all pointed to sales of iPhones and iPads as the driving forces for the record quarter.

"The quarter was driven by dramatic growth in iPhone and iPad sales," Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's chief financial officer, said during the conference call.

Apple sold 20.3 million iPhones, up 142% over the same period last year and a 9% increase over the first quarter of 2011, which was the previous record. On a revenue basis, the iPhone's contribution was 46.6% of total revenues, more than two-and-a-half times that of the Mac and more than twice that of the iPad.

What impressed Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research, wasn't simply the strong iPhone sales, but the fact that Apple was able to maintain its high margin on the smartphone and sell more than 20 million during the quarter even though it didn't release a new model last month, as it has done in June in three of the past four years.

"The ASP [average sales price] of the iPhone hasn't moved noticeably at all, which surprised me," Gottheil said. "They keep building and building them, but the ASP doesn't move."

Apple's decision to push back the launch of the next iPhone to this fall -- most experts have pegged September as the most likely month -- didn't hurt sales of the current model, Gottheil also noted.

Meanwhile, Apple sold 9.2 million iPads, nearly triple the number it sold in the same quarter last year and almost double the 4.7 million it sold in the first three months of 2011.

Apple launched the iPad 2 in mid-March, just weeks before the start of the second quarter, and only recently has been able to meet demand, and then only in some markets.

Unit sales (in millions)

Q3 2011 Yr-over-yr increase
iPad 9.25 183%
iPhone 20.34 142%
iPod 7.54 -20%
Macs 3.95 14%
Source: Apple

"We were still selling every unit we could make [during the quarter]," said Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer. Cook is running the company in the absence of CEO Steve Jobs, who remains on medical leave. "But in the early weeks of July, we were able to increase the supply further, and some SKUs in some countries are now in balance."

At one point in the call, Cook called iPad sales a "frenzy."

Apple's U.S. online store currently shows a delay of one to three business days between ordering an iPad 2 and the tablet being shipped. In April, when Apple last held an earnings call, the delay was two to three weeks.

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