Apple today announced its first quarter fiscal 2013 earnings with a record quarterly revenue of $54.5 billion and record quarterly net profit of $13.1 billion, or $13.81 per diluted share. International sales accounted for over 61 percent of the revenues. During this period, Apple sold 47.8 million iPhones and 22.9 million iPads, which is another record for the company. However, analysts had expected Apple to sell over 50 million iPhones. As many analysts feared gross margins took a hit. Gross margin was 38.6 percent compared to 44.7 percent in the year-ago quarter.
Apple also sold 4.1 million Macs, a dip of 18 percent sequentially and 22 percent year-on-year. It also sold 12.7 million iPods, which is a 137 percent increase sequentially, which is expected with the product refresh announced in the period but dropped 18 percent year-on-year, which would indicate iPods as a product category is probably entering its sunset phase.
The most interesting bit is that iPad unit sales grew by 48 percent year-on-year, which could be attributed majorly to the iPad mini, considering the iPad 4 wasn’t a major refresh. That probably also shows in revenues from iPad sales, which accounted for only 22 percent increase during the same period. Analysts have hinted Apple could face a margin crunch as the lower priced iPad mini could cannibalize sales of the higher priced iPads.
Tim Cook’s strategy for a fast roll-out of the iPhone 5 seems to have had a positive effect with iPhone unit sales increasing by 29 percent year-on-year and revenues growing by 28 percent. This would indicate that iPhone 5 did well and there have not been any major disproportionate sales of older and cheaper iPhone variants. Mind you, this was a 13-week quarter as against a 14-week quarter last year, a fact that we are likely to be reminded multiple times during the earnings call.
Let’s see what Tim Cook has to say during his earnings calls. We will keep our ears to the ground to pick up the slightest of hints of a cheaper iPhone in the offing. Stay tuned.