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Apple Posts $3.07 Billion Profit for Q2 2010

Perhaps the companies that boast they have a “Mac/iPhone/iPod/iPad killer” product can give it a rest for a while. Apple’s latest quarterly earnings revealed that the company is still seeing strong sales of Macs and stellar sales of the iPhone, which accounted for 40 percent of the quarter’s $3.07 billion profit on revenue of $13.5 billion (or $3.33 per diluted share). Gross margin was 41.7 percent. Record revenue for the second quarter was up 49 percent over the year-ago quarter, while profit was up 90 percent, from $1.6 billion to $3.1 billion. The iPad, which has sold over 500,000 units since it was released on 3 April 2010, did not fall into the quarter’s timeline and therefore didn’t contribute to these numbers.

The Mac fared well this quarter with 2.94 million units sold, a 33 percent increase from the year-ago quarter. Continuing an amazing statistic that’s been consistent for some years now, Apple reported that half of those sales were to people who had never owned a Mac before.

Unit sales of the iPod touch grew 63 percent over last year, and were clearly the reason that, while overall quantities of iPods sold were down by one percent, revenue was up: in the year-ago quarter, Apple sold 11 million iPods of all kinds for a $1.67 billion profit; for the last quarter, Apple sold 10.9 million units, earning $1.86 billion. The reportedly higher-margin iPod touch likely also contributed the small increase in overall company gross margins. (Apple doesn’t break out specific unit sales or margins for the iPod touch or other iPod models.)

Sales outside the United States drove part of this quarter’s growth, with the iPhone having the largest impact. International sales contributed 58 percent of the quarter’s revenue. Much has been made of seemingly slow sales of Apple-authorized iPhones in China by its carrier partner, but Apple said Greater China revenue (mainland, Hong Kong, and Taiwan) added up to $1.3 billion, a 200 percent year-over-year increase.

Worldwide, Apple sold 8.75 million iPhones, a 131 percent increase from a year ago, and nearly as good as fiscal 2010’s first quarter, which is always Apple’s biggest due to holiday purchases in December. Apple didn’t provide an updated total of all iPhones and iPod touch units sold ever, but said at the iPhone OS 4 announcement earlier this month that a combined 85 million had sold (see “Steve Jobs Shares iPad Sales Numbers,” 8 April 2010).

During the company’s question-and-answer session, analysts asked many questions about the iPad, including a few related to whether the new mobile device was stealing sales from other kinds of Apple products or from the netbook category. Apple said that it didn’t see any particular slowing in sales of products following the announcement of the iPad, but had nothing to share about the period after the iPad went on sale, as that’s too short a period (just a little over two weeks prior).

As for netbooks, a category that Apple CEO Steve Jobs and COO Tim Cook have been deriding for years, Cook professed an addiction to his iPad, and said he didn’t see anything that a netbook could do that an iPad couldn’t do better. Comparing the iPad to a notebook is like “100 to 0,” Cook said. The expectation of constant comparison to netbooks might explain in part why Apple included Bluetooth keyboard support for iPads in advance of iPhone OS 4, as well as to bolster the iPad’s potential for serious business work.

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