The increasingly game-focused Apple this week posted revenues of $20.3 billion dollars for the fiscal fourth quarter ended September 25, 2010, and profits of $4.3 billion, up from $12.21 billion in revenue and $2.53 billion in profits for the same period a year ago.
The figures beat expectations, but stocks are down in late-morning trading by 6.5 percent following the results -- that's still $311 per share, but analysts said
the stock price decline comes from somewhat bloated profits expectations from investors.
Apple said it sold 14.1 million iPhones during the quarter, up 91 percent year-on-year, still riding high from iPhone 4's June release, and the company sold 9 million iPods, an 11 percent unit decline. It the iPad in particular that fell below analyst expectations of 5 million, selling 4.2 million iPads during fiscal Q4.
The iPad has over 35,000 apps available, according to CEO Steve Jobs, and the App Store overall has over 300,000 apps.
Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said in an earnings call that iPad supply isn't quite where the company wants it to be.
"We were able to increase the supply of iPads over the course of the quarter, building channel inventory by about 500,000 units to end the quarter with between three and four weeks of channel inventory below our target range of four to six weeks," he said.
Jobs took aim at competitors such as RIM's Blackberry. But it's Google's Android platform that could really give iPhone some competition, particularly in the increasingly-important mobile games market.
Jobs took some time to point out what he sees as weaknesses in the operating system. "Google loves to characterize Android as open, and iOS and iPhone as closed," said Jobs, whose company acts as a gatekeeper between the App Store and developers. "We find this a bit disingenuous and clouding the real difference between our two approaches."
He said that unlike an open PC platform like Windows, "Android is very fragmented. ... The users will have to figure it all out. Compare this with iPhone, where every handset works the same."
Jobs added, "We think Android is very, very fragmented and becoming more fragmented by the day. And as you know, Apple's strives for the integrated model so that the user isn't forced to be the systems integrator."
But he conceded that "in our part of the market, Android is our biggest competitor. They out-shipped us in the June quarter as we were transitioning to iPhone 4. ... And I imagine we'll be competing with them for quite some time."
Oppenheimer said Apple expects revenue of about $23 billion for fiscal Q1 2011, earnings per share of about $4.80.
[Earnings transcript via Seeking Alpha