Apple surprised even the most optimistic financial analysts when it released quarterly earnings yesterday afternoon. As you’ve already read, the company had a gargantuan quarter, with revenues of $46.33 billion and quarterly profit of $13.06 billion. (TechCrunch’s MG Siegler does a nice job of putting those numbers in some context.) As was pointed out on Twitter, Apple’s quarterly net was larger than Google’s Q4 gross revenues ($13 billion vs. $10.6 billion).
The giant holiday quarter was led by sales of the iPhone, to the tune of 37 million units. Most analysts were expecting around 30 million. While Apple sold a range of iPhones (3GS, 4 and 4S), the 4S was the most popular and responsible for a frenzy of upgrading and carrier switching. Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) estimated that the iPhone 4S was responsible for “around 90 percent of total iPhone sales . . . despite the aggressive pricing of the older models.”
Earlier this week CIRP released survey research about iPhone buyers. It found the following iPhone sales distribution among the three US carriers:
This week Verizon said that it activated just over 4 million iPhones in the fourth quarter and 10.8 million for the full year 2011. By comparison the carrier activated roughly 15 million Android handsets last year.
CIRP also said that 43 percent of buyers upgraded from existing iPhones, while 36 percent switched from other smartphones (Android, etc.) and 21 percent switched from feature phones or made their first mobile phone purchase in the iPhone. According to CIRP’s data, 71 percent survey respondents said they remained with their existing carrier, while 29 percent switched to get a new iPhone.
Remarkably 42 percent of survey respondents said they paid to break existing carrier contracts to get a new iPhone (both those who remained with current carriers and switched carriers).
CIRP corroborated what Apple CEO Tim Cook said on the earnings call yesterday, that there’s an Apple “halo” effect from iOS devices. The firm said that an entry level device (previously the iPod and now increasingly the iPhone) then lead to Mac ownership as well as purchase of other Apple products.
Here are the unit sales numbers from the Apple earnings call yesterday:
- Mac sales: 5.2 million
- iPhones: 37 million
- iPads: 15.4 million
- iPods: 15.4 million (iPod Touch was more than 50% of sales)
- 85 million users of iCloud
- 550,000 apps (170K are for iPad)
Apple said that there are now 315 million iOS devices in the market, with 62 million sold in the last quarter.
While Android now has greater smartphone market share than Apple, that isn’t true in the enterprise market where the iPhone and iPad have been more widely adopted. And while recent survey data — based on market share trends — argue that Android could become the most important developer platform in the future, that data is contradicted by the huge disparity in the amount that developers have made off the iPhone vs. Android.
On the Apple earnings call CEO Tim Cook was asked about competition. Alluding to Microsoft he said, “There’s a horse in Redmond that always suits up and always runs and will keep running . . .”
We’ll know in roughly two or three quarters whether the Finland-Redmond horse is truly running or whether it’s now just a two-OS race.
- Study: 69 Percent Access The Mobile Internet Daily
- Pew: 19 Percent Of Americans Now Own Tablets, eReaders
- Google’s Coming Tablet: A Response To Kindle Fire, Not The iPad
- Who’s Surgin’, Who’s Saggin’: iPhone Or Android?
- For Consumers, Android Is More “Clopen” Than Open
- Dueling Mobile User Numbers: Android vs. Apple vs. Facebook