Apple braces for ‘product transition’ before October

Yesterday, Apple reported financial results for its latest fiscal quarter. The company saw its revenue rise 38% to $7.46 billion compared to last year, while its net profits grew to $1.07 billion, and Mac shipments increased 41% to almost 2.5 million units. In short, Apple did so well that Steve Jobs called the quarter, “The best June quarter for both revenue and earnings in Apple’s history.”

But that’s not the interesting part. As AppleInsider reports, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer revealed during an ensuing conference call that the company’s profits will shrink because of a key product transition in the July-September time frame. Oppenheimer stopped short of revealing what that transition would be, but he said the “new, unnamed product will continue to have ‘technologies and features that others can’t match.'” Apple expects the transition to cut gross margin from 34.8% to 31.5%.

With the iPhone 3G already out, it doesn’t take much to figure out which products Oppenheimer could have been talking about. The MacBook lineup will probably transition to Intel’s new Centrino 2 notebook platform before long, and Apple could take the opportunity to make some design changes and add new features. Apple’s now almost year-old iPod line is probably due for a refresh soon, too.

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