Apple profit soars on rocketing iPhone-iPad sales

Wednesday 25 April 2012 07.23
Quarterly sales of Apple's iPad double
Quarterly sales of Apple's iPad double

Apple's coffers continued to swell in the first three months of the year due to record sales of iPhones and iPad tablet computers.

Sales were particularly strong in China and other parts of Asia.

Apple said last night it made a profit of $11.6 billion on revenue of $39.2 billion in the quarter ended March 31. The amount of cash Apple had on hand grew $12 billion to $110.2 billion.

Sales of iPads more than doubled from the same quarter the previous year and iPhone sales surged 88%.

"We're thrilled with sales of over 35 million iPhones and almost 12 million iPads in the March quarter," Apple's chief executive Tim Cook said.

"The new iPad is off to a great start, and across the year you're going to see a lot more of the kind of innovation that only Apple can deliver," he added.

Apple's net income for its second fiscal quarter was nearly double that seen in the same time a year ago, when sales tallied $24.7 billion.

The Cupertino, California-based company released the third-generation of its market-ruling iPad tablet computer in March, meaning its blockbuster sales have only begun to pump up Apple's bottom line.

While Apple gadgets were hot in markets around the world, demand was "mind-boggling" in China, where revenue for the quarter was a record-high $7.9 billion, Cook said in an earnings conference call.

Apple took in $12.4 billion in China in the six months that mark the first half of its current fiscal year, promising that the company will easily eclipse the $13.3 billion in sales in that country in the entire prior fiscal year.

"China has an enormous number of people moving into higher income groups, middle-class if you will, and this is creating a demand for goods," Cook said. "There is tremendous opportunity for companies that understand China, and we are doing everything we can to understand it," he said.

Cook said that Apple had the "mother of all Januaries" that included tending to a huge backlog of gadget orders and launching the iPhone 4 in China. The company is scrambling to keep up with demand for iPads around the world.

The tablet computers are being embraced by companies, schools, and governments as well as by gadget lovers, according to Apple. Apple sold two iPads for every Macintosh computer sold in the education market while still reporting record Mac sales.

About three quarters of the world's top corporations are either using or testing iPads, according to Cook. Overall sales of devices running on Apple's iOS mobile operating system have topped 365 million and the "ecosystem" of applications and accessories continues to blossom, according to executives.

Apple's online App Store boasts more than 600,000 mini-programmes tailored for the company's coveted gadgets, with more than a third of those "apps" devoted to the iPad. The iTunes online shop for music, films, and other digital content brought in a record-high $1.9 billion in revenue during Apple's recently ended second fiscal quarter.

More than 125 million people are using the iCloud service Apple launched in October as a way for users of its devices to store music, pictures, video and other digital data online at the company's datacenters.

Apple's stock price reversed a losing trend for the day after the release of the earnings figures, jumping over 7% to $600.30 a share on the Nasdaq exchange on Wall Street.