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back to article Apple 'happy ending': BULGING iPhone WAD - but can it ever be enough?

Apple has reported its financial results for the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2013: its numbers handily outperformed the projections published by the Wall Street moneymen, though net income slipped from the same period last year. For the quarter, Apple's all-important earnings per share (EPS) came in at $8.26 on revenues of $37. …

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Anonymous Coward

Think different used to be the motto. These days it is "Think about the money.

I wonder how much longer the Mac will exist? it seems to be little more than a non-touch screen tablet with a keyboard.

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This was an earnings report. Of course they're talking about money, that's the whole point of it. If he starts talking about EPS in the middle of a new product announcement, then you can complain about "thinking about the money".

They sell 15-20 million Macs a year, and you think they might discontinue them? Dell and HP can only dream about making as much from PC sales as Apple does, since they don't sell them for $5 more than they cost to make like most PC OEMs do.

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"Dell and HP can only dream about making as much from PC sales as Apple does, since they don't sell them for $5 more than they cost to make like most PC OEMs do."

Not sure whether I properly understood what you're saying, but if it is that Apple puts huge markups on its hardware and that's why it is currently so financially successful that sounds like a bit of a shortsighted, screw-our-customers-because-they're-too-think-to-realise strategy. Eventually even the least savvy customers come to understand that they're being ripped off, big time, by that particular company. As that realisation dawns sales will slide. (Yes, there will always be a group of Posh Spice-like fans who imagine kudos arises from conspicuously paying way over the odds, but that group is a minority).

Once people start to realise how much they've been played for, to a significant extent, marketing-fodder fools, their loyalty will move away never to return.

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Replace Apple with Microsoft...

and your comment still holds true!

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Yep. When will Apple realise that the true path to success is by selling cut price, high volume, low margin, budget, cheap rubbish and their rise to being the biggest company in the world, through selling premium products, has been some sort of fluke or aberration?

I'm sure normal service will resume any second now. Just wait. Aaaaaany second...

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@WhoaWhoa

There's a difference in evaluation between a premium product and a budget product. Whether you think Apple produces a premium product or not is immaterial — some do, and they believe they're paying for (i) the hardware; (ii) the design; and (iii) to enter or remain in the ecosystem. They don't evaluate on component mark-ups alone because they believe that (ii) costs money and (iii) adds value beyond the components.

So they ask themselves "do I want the machine with the 5 megapixel screen that runs below 20 decibels for 12 hours between charges and weighs less than 2kg?" not "which machine is the cheapest for the performance level I've deemed adequate?"

If you think most people don't agree that Macs are worth the money then you're right. That's why at least 85% of buyers pick something else, even according to the most optimistic estimate of marketshare that Google could find me.

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Re: @WhoaWhoa

In the retail market, 'premium' is determined by somethings price compared to other similar offerings. It has nothing to do with the quality of a product and is entirely dependent on the customer making the decision that more expense equals higher quality. In this case, Apple products are most certainly the premium product.

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Re: @WhoaWhoa

"In this case, Apple products are most certainly the premium product."

... and as most people who've owned one, also the high quality product.

You all need to get over the fact that Apple make very good consumer kit, and support it to a level to a level few other PC companies can even aspire. They sell a squillion units to happy customers, most of whom are just as savvy and smart in their buying choices as the commentards here.

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@WhoaWhoa

Your opinion and/or how you evaluate the value of a product compared to other products clearly differs from that of a Mac buyer. You probably think "they're wrong" but they undoubtedly think you're the one who is wrong. Not everyone compares laptops purely by spec and thinks that because they can have a laptop comparable in specs to a Macbook for several hundred dollars less that they're being "played". Some people place more value in things you consider immaterial, such as the OS, support, or (as I'm sure you believe) the Apple logo.

It never ceases to amaze me how people who don't like Apple think that their customers are stupid. For all the complaints about Apple's "arrogance", I think the arrogance of Apple haters easily exceeds the arrogance of even Steve Jobs himself. At least he didn't hide fact he thought he knew better than everyone else, and didn't hide it under claims that everyone else was deluded and only he was able to see the light. OK, well, I guess he did, but I suppose that makes Apple haters who think like you no better than Steve Jobs.

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Re: @WhoaWhoa

Really? So every single customer who buys other than the cheapest item, is a mug? That's certainly opened my eyes. Thanks for the life lesson. No more single malt & brie lifestyle for me. Not even Kraft cheese and Bud. Every single thing I buy will be Walmart generic from now on. Take that, you fancy-pants premium-product-pushing conmen!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @WhoaWhoa

"It never ceases to amaze me how people who don't like Apple think that their customers are stupid."

Yup. Interesting to me is that the technical people I know who are spectacularly competent and intelligent invariably choose to use Macs. I mean people who have post-grad degrees in computer science from ivy league universities and who are top developers at Google and Amazon, or who are busy selling their startups for millions of dollars, etc.

That is to say, qualified, smart people who are too busy doing useful work to justify their purchasing decisions to random commentards on web forums. So we get what we have, a bunch of posts about how everybody should be using $350 laptops.

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@Phormic:

You made me laugh. In a good way.

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Re: @WhoaWhoa

No point spending money on Single Malt and Brie and getting Bud and Kraft in a nice box though.

Since 2011 the repairability of practically everything has dropped like a stone. The decision to remove CD drives is also cost driven. Somebody want to tell me that Apple can't push the boat out a little with the mark up on those machines?

I'll only consider a Mac Mini now should my iMac die, which is unfortunately the red-headed stepchild of Apple's product lines and probably the next for the chopping block. I don't see why I shouldn't be able to expand memory or replace faulty parts, and I find fanboy arguments as to why I don't need to anyway unconvincing. If alternatives are cheaper and more repairable, who's the mug?

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Re: @WhoaWhoa (@Dan)

There's no evidence whatsoever to suggest that "The decision to remove CD drives is also cost driven". It further strikes me as at leart an order of magnitude more likely that the decision was motivated by the desire to make the machines thinner and lighter (it's one of Apple's favourite boasts) and to boost the battery life (both by eliminating the last moving part and by making more space available for those custom shaped batteries they love to glue in).

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wonder what their ratio is now

http://www.macrumors.com/2012/02/13/apple-grabs-19-of-u-s-consumer-electronics-dollars-in-holiday-quarter/

"Apple captured "19 percent of all sales dollars" of consumer electronics sales in the U.S. during the holiday quarter of 2011 according to NPD."

anyone know what the answer is now? I think I might be scared to know the truth.

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Apple's cash reserves - reported as $146bn - matches the amount of foreign reserves the US government hold.

I expect the next new thing to be the iAfrican Country

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I expect to see the "peak Apple", "end of Apple" etc. etc to appear here very shortly with same old tired arguments from people simply trying to wish reality to be something different.

In the mean time, only lack of personal financial reserves prevented me from buying more.

Apple does seem to have a lot of cash and liquid assts with which to play. As a shareholder, I would prefer that they managed a higher ROI on that component of their business though, but I understand their conservatism.

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Interesting

After reporting that it had sold nine million of the new iPhones in their first weekend of sales ...

So that's 9 million of 34 million in one weekend. That's very impressive business but does seem to cast the rest of the quarter in a not so brilliant light. Well, at least in terms of growth. I'm sure there are plenty of companies out there who'd like to be selling 8 million phones a month, especially with Apple's margins. However, it does seem to confirm that growth in that market has come / is coming to an end.

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Re: Interesting

Alternatively, it shows that despite the existing iPhones being deemed "end of line" as they were due to be replaced in the quarter (something pretty much everyone knows about now), they *still* managed to sell 25 million of them!

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Re: Interesting

Well, you're essentially restating what I said: 8 million a month is impressive whichever way you look at it. However, Apple is now available on all US networks and in most countries and its year-on-year sales show little growth, similar IIRC to Samsung's summer figures. This indicative of the Smartphone market reaching maturity which is why there are all kinds of questions as to "where is the growth going to come from?". Personally, if it was my company I'd be more than happy for things to stay like that, as long as I got a nice dividend to reflect it. But that's not necessarily the way Wall St thinks. The recent hires indicate that Apple is going to move towards being brand first and foremost, I'd argue that it has traditionally been both brand, quality and technology.

I guess we'll see.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Interesting

"However, it does seem to confirm that growth in that market has come / is coming to an end."

Where is you evidence for this assertion. Certainly not in the information you wrote. You conclusion is invalid (even if it were randomly true, which is unknown)

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Re: Interesting

@AC

The evidence is in the figures: revenue up slightly for the same quarter as last year, earnings down slightly.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Interesting

So, that's one in a row is it?

dork.

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Anonymous Coward

The hand of Cook

I notice two things: Gross margin is down, and recent Apple equipment is increasingly unrepairable, right down to the new glued together Macs.

I suspect that this is the hand of Cook. He's trying to boost the margin by cutting manufacturing cost, and slathers of glue rather than nuts and bolts certainly does that. I'm sure they've done all the calculations on warranty returns, estimated product life, and factored in the cost of slipping new product to high profile people who complain out of warranty, because everybody does that from car makers to white goods makers. Glue makes for cheap assembly and cheap scrapping, and that's about it.

Only a minority of people care that, say, the HTC One is virtually unrepairable as is the new Macbook Pro, the new Microsoft tablet, and doubtless a lot of other stuff. But it does perhaps signify a power shift from engineering to production, and that is a sign that a company is getting stagnant.

Obviously the new Macbooks are much cheaper than Apple products were in the past (my last Apple laptop cost over £3000), but there is no inherent technical reason why they can't be designed to be easily repaired at slightly greater cost. Saying "screw you" to people who like to upgrade things periodically will probably do no serious harm to their business, but it might inhibit IT people from considering deploying Macs in businesses in future.

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Stupid criticism cant' stop Apple

No doubt the Microsoft dupes commenting regularly in technology blogs like The Register and ZDNet will be crying in their baby pens with the news that the new Apple iPhones that they trashed so often and virulently are selling like gang busters in US and around the world.

Hopefully now they will realize that illogically and without facts condemning (Microsoft's) competitors' products and services will not endear consumers to Redmond's offerings, no matter how many hundreds of $millions are lavished on ineffectual ads and paid subtle endorsements in the technology blog media.

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Anonymous Coward

Headline "Fanbois do as fanbois are!" Hardly surprising.

I desire individuality, not sheep following. Anything which does not have the greatest following is always going to appeal. Following the crowd will never appeal, simply because I don't want to be like you!

I'm far more special/individual/unique than that. Hence no iFolly, no Fakebook, no Twatter, no full of homoeroticism Football, no religion. I am my own and nothing can come close.

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Eh... what?

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