Today, after the closing bell, Apple answered the question analysts have asked for weeks: How many iPhones and iPads shipped during the holiday quarter? The answer: A colossal number -- 47.8 million and 22.9, respectively.
Apple also shipped 4.1 million Macs. Analyst consensus was around 50 million, 23.5 million and 5 million, respectively, for the three devices. But the big reveal is iPad and whether the mini sapped sales of the larger tablet. In the previous quarter, iPad's average selling price was $535. Three months later, with iPad mini widely available, ASP is $467. Apple launched the slate on November 2nd alongside iPad 4. The company touted 3 million early sales, without breaking out which device. Now we know something.
For fiscal Q1, Apple reported $54.5 billion revenue and net profits of $13.1 billion, or $13.81 a share. A year earlier, the company reported revenue of $46.33 billion and $13.06 billion net quarterly profit, or $13.87 per share.
Apple forecast $52 billion in revenue for fiscal 2013 first quarter, with earnings per share of $11.75. Analyst average estimates were higher than Apple guidance: $54.73 billion revenue and $13.44 earnings per share.
"We’re thrilled with record revenue of over $54 billion and sales of over 75 million iOS devices in a single quarter", Apple CEO Tim Cook, says. "We’re very confident in our product pipeline as we continue to focus on innovation and making the best products in the world".
Total iOS device sales are now "more than a half billion", Cook says, "10 per second sold last quarter alone".
The company exited the quarter with $137 billion cash, versus $121 billion three months earlier.
Apple's quarter was monstrous, exceeding in three months the revenue Google generated for all calendar 2012. But that isn't good enough for investors. In early after-hours trading, Apple shares fell 5.5 percent to $485.66, from the close of $514.01. The quarter broke Apple's nearly decade-long period of earnings growth, and device shipments miss consensus. That said, Apple handily beat earnings estimates, but missed on revenue.
Looking ahead, Apple forecasts between $41 billion and $43 billion in revenue for fiscal 2013 second quarter, with gross margin between 37.5 percent and 38.5 percent. In a radical departure, Apple didn't provide EPS guidance.
In an unusual turn, Cook started off today's conference call, perhaps to defuse ongoing shareholder concerns, reflected in about four months of share-price declines. "No technology company has ever reported these kinds of results", Cook says about record iPad and iPhone sales. Innovation and customer service are core Apple values, Cook says, adding that his job is to "preserve our culture and drive it forward".
But Cook did little to quell jittery investors. At 6:11 PM EST, Apple was down 10.72 percent, to $458.90, in after-hours trading.