Apple announced what, in the words of 9to5Mac and supported by facts, was the the best year of corporate financial results in human history. And the company's stock is down about 50 points as of this writing. Investors: you are crazy. Possibly, actually, insane.
Are there things to worry about in Apple's future, yes? As Bryan Chaffin points out, Apple has offered guidance on what it expects to bring in next quarter that's a bit under what Wall St. estimated. And yes, while revenues were high this quarter, profits were down--especially in sales of Macs. There's increasing competition in key markets, a shaky cloud offering, and unclear paths to new growth markets. Those are definite concerns.
But what Wall St. and investors seem to want out of Apple are new hits, new category-revolutionizing innovations every year--or faster, if possible. John Gruber makes a good point: it was 6 years between the iPod and iPhone, and 3 years between the iPhone and iPad. That's not immediate revolution. That's a reasonable pace of innovation, a reasonable rate of progress. Probably better than most other companies, actually. Why Wall St. thinks Apple can create magic every quarter defies logic and reason.
Are there signs of potential trouble down the road for Apple? Probably, yes. But are those the ones that investors seem to be reacting to? I don't think so. In the long run markets do tend to be rational and fairly accurate, but these sort of short-term fluctuations are no doubt irrational and emotional.
All of that said, what were Apple's results for the first financial quarter of 2013 (which includes the holidays)?
- Sales of US$54.5 billion, up from $46.3 billion in the same quarter the year before (which was, also, a week longer last year)
- Profit of $13.1 billion, even with the year ago quarter
- 47.8 million iPhones sold, up from 37 million the year before
- 22.9 million iPads sold, up from 15.4 million the year before
- 12.7 million iPods, down from 15.4 million the year before.
Some other interesting numbers from the results:
- Apple has sold 500 million iOS devices all time
- The company has over $137 billion in cash on hand
- The iTunes Store is now available in 119 countries
- There are over 775,000 apps in the App Store.