Apple is too cool for the recession, posts record earnings

You'd think the recession would be hurting Apple's bottom line lately, especially since the firm focuses on boutique products priced at a premium. Well, you'd be wrong. Apple has posted its best second fiscal quarter ever, with net income of $1.21 billion on revenue of $8.16 billion.

In case you're wondering, yes, those numbers do represent important growth. Apple posted "only" $1.05 billion profits and $7.51 billion revenue for the same quarter last year.

The economic climate still hurt Apple's Mac business, causing shipments to shrink by 3%. However, the company counteracted that with 3% growth in iPod shipments and 123%—yes, a hundred-and-twenty-three percent—growth in iPhone shipments. Admittedly, the second quarter of Apple's 2008 fiscal year ended on March 28, long before the release of the iPhone 3G. But that's still pretty impressive.

Some believe Apple will help sagging Mac shipments by introducing a netbook in the near future. Engadget listened to the earnings conference call and got the latest word from Apple COO (and temporary Steve Jobs stand-in) Tim Cook on that topic:

When I'm looking at what's sold in the Netbook market, I see cramped keyboards, junky hardware, very small screens, bad software. Not a consumer experience that we would put the Mac brand on. As it exists today, we're not interested in it nor would it be something customers would be interested in the long term. We are looking at the space. For those who want a small computer that does browsing/email, they might want an iPhone or iPod Touch. If we find a way to deliver an innovative product that really makes a contribution, we'll do that.

A big "maybe," in other words. If there's any truth to the reports we've seen recently, however, Apple's rumored netbook will cost more and include better hardware than your typical Eee PC or Aspire One.

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