Apple Announces Q212 Revenue of $39.2 Billion

By Alex Brooks Quarterly Revenue Estimates and Actual Results Q212
Apple today announced financial results for its second fiscal quarter of 2012 which ran from January 1 until March 31. The Company posted revenue of $39.2 billion and net quarterly profit of $11.6 billion, or $12.80 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $24.7 billion and net quarterly profit of $6 billion, or $6.40 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 47.4 percent compared to 41.4 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 64 percent of the quarter’s revenue.
During the quarter Apple also sold 4 million Macs representing a 7 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. Apple also sold 35.1 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 88 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter as well as 7.7 million iPods during the quarter, representing a 15 percent unit decline from the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 11.8 million iPads during the quarter, a 151 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter.

“We’re thrilled with sales of over 35 million iPhones and almost 12 million iPads in the March quarter,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The new iPad is off to a great start, and across the year you’re going to see a lot more of the kind of innovation that only Apple can deliver.”
“Our record March quarter results drove $14 billion in cash flow from operations,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Looking ahead to the third fiscal quarter, we expect revenue of about $34 billion and diluted earnings per share of about $8.68.”
iPhone unit sales Q212

Source: World of Apple


Q212, It’s All About iPhone

By Alex Brooks In a weeks time Apple will reveal the results of its second fiscal quarter of 2012. As ever all eyes will be on the world’s largest company who last quarter reported over a handful of record breaking figures including record breaking quarterly revenue of $46.3 billion.
Let’s just spend some time recapping Apple’s first fiscal quarter of 2012 which is historically always Apple’s largest quarter due to holiday sales, in this particular instance the quarter was made even more impressive due to pent up demand for the new iPhone which was released during the quarter with those figures coming in at just over 37 million units.
The iPad was of course the gift to have for Christmas and despite common knowledge that a new model would only be a few months away sales came in at a healthy 15.4 million, representing year-over-year growth of a whopping 111 percent. Macs also performed well during the quarter and for the first time Apple reported sales of over 5 million Macs with year-over-year growth of over 25 percent, put in perspective against a declining PC sales market then that is impressive.
Looking ahead to Apple’s fiscal second quarter which ended on March 31 it’s unlikely that we’ll see a record breaking quarter like the one past but it will be notable for a number of reasons.

Tim Cook has said multiple times already this year that China is a huge market with huge growth, other countries to watch are Brazil and India. Despite reporting sales of 37 million iPhones last quarter the iPhone 4S hadn’t yet made it into China which it eventually did right at the start of Q2 on January 13.
Quarterly iPhone unit sales with Q212 Estimate
Estimates of iPhone sales during the quarter run between 26 and 44 million but the general consensus is around 35 million, mighty impressive considering the quarter doesn’t include pent-up demand or holiday sales. We can thank China for that.
The iPad is sure to impress this quarter as well. Announced on March 7 the new iPad was available in 10 countries on March 16 and when the quarter came to an end was available in 35 countries. During the opening weekend Apple reported sales (including pre-orders) of over three million. Sales of the third-generation iPad are expected to come in at around 12 million, which would represent impressive year-over-year growth of 160% and only a small drop from the preceding massive quarter.
If we predict that the Mac will continue to grow at roughly 25% per quarter then sales will dip below the 5 million mark and come in at a still healthy 4.7 million for the quarter. Between January and March Apple did not refresh any of their Macs and rumours of a refresh across the board have been persistent.
The headline figure of the results will of course be the quarterly revenue and whilst it’s highly unlikely that Apple will top its figure of $46.3 billion it might not be far off. For reference in Q211 the company reported quarterly revenue of $24.6 billion. Estimates are still coming in but the consensus is that Apple will announce quarterly revenue around $42 billion, which would mark only the second time that Apple has recorded quarterly revenue over $30 billion in company’s history.
Apple Quarterly Revenue Q212 Estimate
Apple’s Q212 results will be available at the closing bell on April 24 at 4.30 PM Eastern time, 1.30 PM Pacific or 9.30 PM in London. Apple will then host a conference call, which can listened to here, starting at 5 PM Eastern time, 2 PM Pacific or 10 PM in London.

Source: World of Apple


Apple’s Flashback Lesson

By Alex Brooks Flashback trojan Flash installer
Brushed under the carpet or blown out of proportion by the sensational mainstream media? However you think the coverage of the Flashback trojan played out the fact is that Apple handled the whole thing badly. But in typical Apple fashion seems to have scraped through unharmed, I suspect in future they won’t be so lucky.
It all played out much the same way that any major exploit does. For Microsoft if an exploit grabs hold and spreads to tens of millions of Windows computers then it is big news, even if that proportion of install base is relatively quite low. For Apple, who’s reputation of invisible Macs prevails, the story is much the same. The Flashback trojan was said to have spread to over 600,000 Macs worldwide-which is estimated to be about one percent of the install base.

The method of infection was all relatively textbook, some nefarious JavaScript code on a webpage is used to load a Java-applet which will download a fake Flash installer. Safari if set to open “safe files” upon download will open the installer and any unsuspecting user will jump right into thinking it is a real Flash player installer. Once infected the trojan changes a bunch of network settings and attempts to silence network activity detection apps like LittleSnitch. The aim of the trojan is to add the infected Mac to a botnet used for DDoS attacks on websites.
All sounds unfortunately all too common so far and naturally such a trojan’s spread could be stopped by good user education. Installing apps that you haven’t opted to download or install, not opening downloaded files by default, not entering the system password unless 100% sure why, and ensuring you trust all websites visited are just a few ways in which the spread of such trojans could be slowed significantly. But that’s not the case and I know even relatively savvy Mac users who got snagged by Flashback, somehow.
Apple however doesn’t seem to want to take onboard any of these lessons and instead has opted for a worrying tactic that involves saying nothing about the exploit, releasing a patch and removal tool over a week later and assuming it’ll go away. I’m being kind by saying Apple took just over a week to get a handle on this problem, the truth is that Flashback was discovered by Intego in September 2011, long before the infection spread to hundreds of thousands of Macs. For the record Oracle patched the actual Java exploit earlier in the year but Apple opts to bundle such updates into large security updates which it chooses to release intermittently throughout the year.
When Apple did eventually release a patch, with an accompanying invisible removal tool, the company’s tactics became very clear. Apple’s solution to prevent future infections is to disable the automatic execution of Java applets which can be re-enabled by the user. If after a period of time no Java applets have been used then the Java plugin will disable itself again. This is merely patching a still untreated and bleeding wound.
I can almost see Apple huffing and puffing like a teenager who’s been told to do the washing up. Why should Apple spend resources constantly keeping up-to-date with Java patches and whilst we’re on the subject Flash exploits when Macs don’t even come with these installed? I appreciate that’s not quite an oranges to oranges comparison there as Java will offer to install upon detection and Flash will not but the point remains Apple should not try an remove itself from the responsibility for the security of its customers Macs.
The whole Flashback story is marred by a cringeworthy performance from Apple, when one of the largest mainstream news websites in the world covered the Flashback infection Apple “could not” provide a statement. Any communication from the company came through updates on its support website.
There is even a report that anti-virus firms trying to track the botnet servers and block them came up against Apple’s attempts to do the same but ended up with Apple blocking harmless tracking servers. Could very well have been an innocent error but one that a communication channel would certainly fix.
Apple handled this badly but at the end of the day it wasn’t their plugin. I don’t agree that simply disabling the plugin is a solution nor is assuming that because Macs don’t ship with certain plugins that it is seemingly OK to take in excess of three months to patch major vulnerabilities.
However, one day either OS X or iOS will come up against a serious security problem. We’ve had brushes with incidents on iOS in the past and whilst its true that the OS is heavily sandboxed it is not immune from exploits especially as the market share continues to grow. OS X is a much more vulnerable beast, also with a growing market share. An exploit right inside Apple’s code that spreads to hundreds of thousands of devices couldn’t go ignored for six, four or two months not even one week.
Apple has a gold plated reputation of having computers that don’t require clunky anti-virus software and where users can feel safe using the internet as well as mobile devices that alleviate all the concerns that Android users suffer. But chinks in this shiny facade can and will quickly ruin this reputation for a very long time. Just think how you feel about Windows today.

Source: World of Apple


Why Sync?

By Alex Brooks iCloud music on iPhone, iPad and Mac
This week the subject of Apple’s cluttered and bloated iTunes app has been on the agenda. Jason Snell over at Macworld originally argued that if Apple is going to embrace the cloud, like it appears to be doing, then iTunes should be simpler. Snell suggests breaking iTunes down into separate apps, “one devoted to device syncing, one devoted to media playback. (And perhaps the iTunes Store could be broken out separately too?)”
Then Federico Viticci at MacStories chimed in with a slightly different take but along the same lines. Viticci’s take moves along a different tangent and one that has been playing on my mind for a few weeks now. The basic premise of Viticci’s argument is why does iTunes need to the hub of all our media and device syncing? Put simpler, why are we still using iTunes?

It’s a great point and evidently Apple feels the same way. Since the inception of iOS 5 and iCloud Apple clearly recognises the importance of moving away from iTunes and moving away from the traditional method of syncing. However Apple has a serious challenge on its hands and whilst you could argue that Apple is the king of stripping away the unnecessaries in life I can’t help but think that pulling iTunes back to basics is one challenge too far.
Like I said though, Apple recognises the problem. When introducing iCloud Steve Jobs used an analogy he had used many years previous when introducing the idea of the digital hub. The premise of the digital hub was a Mac at the centre of a consumer’s digital lifestyle, iTunes for the iPod, iPhoto for the digital camera and iMovie for the camcorder. With time this changed and all those devices were in one device and so slowly all those functions and more were in one app—iTunes.
With iCloud Apple has made it clear that it is rethinking the digital hub strategy and is moving away from the Mac as the centre of the hub to iCloud as the centre of the hub. And Apple has followed its word, take for example just some of these changes that have occurred in well under a year:
– Movies and TV shows purchased on the iTunes Store can now be streamed to an Apple TV from the cloud
– iTunes in the Cloud allows streaming of music from the cloud to iOS devices
– iTunes Match puts an entire music library, purchased from iTunes or not, in the cloud
– Music, books and apps can now automatically propagate to iOS devices and Macs
– iOS device backups are now stored in the cloud
That is just some of the headline changes in Apple’s move to the cloud and most of them are unfortunately counter acted by a lack of change elsewhere. Take for example if I purchase a Season Pass for a TV show on my Mac, iTunes will then attempt to download a lot of data to my Mac when all I want to do is stream to my Apple TV and whilst we’re on the subject I’d like to stream to my iPad, iPhone and Mac as well.
Third-generation Apple TV showing iTunes movies
The solution to all of this feels a long way off and complex. As Jason Snell argues, iTunes needs to be spun off into multiple apps. I argue that the iTunes store (probably shouldn’t be called iTunes anymore) should be a separate app much like the Mac App Store. Then there should be an app that acts a repository for all this content followed by an app that deals with managing iCloud and effectively syncing (Update:Thomas Verschoren even put together some mockups).
But here’s the thing, why sync at all?
Now I know what you’re thinking, Apple can’t deprecate syncing completely. How would an iPhone magically fill itself with music, movies, apps and books? iOS devices already have a tether-less setup process but currently it’s quick and painless covering some of the basics like connecting to WiFi, turning location on and signing into iCloud; it would be a world of pain to then have to then select what music, video, apps and books should be synced to the device.
Streaming of this content isn’t the answer, that’s a good solution for a housebound device like the Apple TV but iPads and iPhones are meant to be out and about away from WiFi and whilst a good LTE connection could easily stream a HD movie that’d be your data allowance for the month gone in a flash.
It also shouldn’t be overlooked that a recorded video on an iPhone can be very large, not even all home broadband connections could cope with uploading a 1GB video to the cloud and then back to all the over devices. Works great for photos (aka Photostream) but it won’t do the job for video.
There is no clear solution but what is needed is a continued push towards everything on iCloud and a concerted effort to stop the reliance on iTunes and begin stripping it of features. Unfortunate if recent rumours are true it would appear that the iCloud manager that is required so urgently will instead be built into iTunes 11 and not just into the OS or as a separate app.
On the bright side Tim Cook has said that he sees iCloud as a long term strategy, hopefully one day iTunes will be my go to place for playing music and that’s it.

Source: World of Apple



By Alex Brooks Walter Isaacson speaks at The Royal Institution in London
In a most auspicious setting Walter Isaacson took to the floor last night to talk about his 2011 biography of Steve Jobs. Having visited Amsterdam and Oxford this week on a whistle stop tour promoting the book it was particularly notable that Isaacson’s visit to London found him in a location that is special for all sorts of reasons but particularly in reference to science of which Isaacson’s past biography subjects include Einstein and Franklin.
Taking place in the famed lecture theatre of The Royal Institution in Mayfair, Isaacson set off the session retelling much of what is present in the biography of Jobs that was released not long after his death in October 2011. Mercurial is a word that pops up a lot when trying to create a summary of Jobs but according to Isaacson Jobs was a fan of the word.

When telling about his first encounter with Steve Jobs in 1984 Isaacson explains that whilst at Time magazine Jobs had come in to demonstrate the Macintosh. Whilst Isaacson was the only one using a computer the rest of the magazine was still stuck with typewriters, according to Isaacson Jobs had him looking at the display of the Macintosh with an artist’s loupe inspecting every pixel.
It was this encounter that Jobs spoke of wanting to get the Oxford English dictionary on the Macintosh and had looked up mercurial and seen it describe someone who is prone to “sudden or unpredictable changes of mood or mind”, it was not this that attracted Jobs to the word but in fact the antonym which suggests “calm, tranquil and unchangeable”.
During the same encounter Jobs demonstrated his mercurial spirit by suddenly becoming aggravated as to why Time magazine hadn’t made him ‘Man of the Year’.
Much of Isaacson’s book of Jobs focuses on his love of simplicity and the same rang true during Isaacson’s 30 minute opening piece in which he described Jobs as having a passion to drive people to do things that weren’t previously thought possible and that Jobs recognised the importance of “connecting beauty to technology”.
Amongst a number of anecdotes about Jobs’ attention to detail Isaacson brings up the story of the iPod’s on/off button, or lack of. Jobs according to Isaacson went into a meeting during the iPod’s creation and asked the design “what the fuck is that?” pointing at the off button, after an uncomfortable silence someone answered saying that it was and on/off switch, Jobs retorted “what does it do?”
Much later on whilst Isaacson and Jobs were talking in the Apple founder’s backyard the question of life and death came up. Jobs expressed much of his Buddhist beliefs that life is a spiritual journey and it’s important to put something back into the flow of history. Jobs then said after a long pause that maybe it all ends just like an off switch, click and it’s over. Then with a little expressed, maybe that’s why I don’t like putting them on Apple products.
Tim Cook speaks at a celebration held in memory of Steve Jobs
Once Isaacson had spoke a bit about the the writing of the biography and restating many of the anecdotes inside he sat down with Roger Highfield for a quick interview and then questions were opened to the floor.
First up was Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales who asked Isaacson that if he could question Jobs on anything else now what would it be? Isaacson gave no specific example but mentioned that one subject he could not get Jobs to talk about was philanthropy despite Jobs’ wife having setup College Track and serving as its president.
Much like as is outlined in Isaacson’s book he states that Apple’s focus is on digital photography, textbooks and the TV market. Expanding very little on what is already known Isaacson did say that Jobs would have wanted a very integrated system offering whatever you want when you want it.
On the same day that Isaacson spoke in London Google CEO Larry Page had an interview on Bloomberg’s Businessweek and claimed that the differences over Android and iOS were “all for show”. Isaacson disputes this referring back to when Mac OS and Windows were having a similar show down, Jobs believed that Gates and stolen a lot of Apple’s hard work and had then begun licensing it to hardware manufacturers.
According to Isaacson Jobs saw what is happening with Android as a repetition of history, that Android stole much of Apple’s hard work and is now licensing it how to “junky” hardware manufacturers.
Isaacson admits that Jobs was emotional about this, the success of Windows saw his time at Apple come to an end in the 80′s and that his reactions will have be channeled through those emotions. Isaacson says that Tim Cook is less emotional and will deal with the lawsuits and Android differently.
I got the chance to ask Isaacson about those recordings he has of Jobs from their many interviews and whether any revisions are planned to the book. Isaacson told me that most of the interviews are actually in note form and releasing the few interview tapes would be difficult as they’d need some censoring.
More interesting though was Isaacson’s take on any future revisions or additions to the book. At first the answer seemed to be a strong no, expanding upon it Isaacson suggested that the missing bits, or lack of colour in some areas, in the biography would most likely be filled in by biographies of other key figures at Apple. I’m skeptical of how many copies a biography of Jony Ive or Phil Schiller would sell.

Source: World of Apple