Apple posts record numbers for the holiday quarter

Apparently, there were lots of iPhones in Christmas stockings. Lots of iPads, too... and lots of Macs. Apple's results for the fiscal quarter ending December 31 are out, and they're a sight to behold: record-breaking revenue and profits, over six points of margin growth, and insane device sales numbers.

   Q1FY11 Q4FY11 Q1FY12
Revenue  $26.74 billion $28.27 billion  $46.33 billion
Net profit  $6 billion $6.62 billion  $13.06 billion
Gross margin  38.5% 40.3%  44.7%

There you go. Apple more than doubled its net profit compared to the same quarter a year ago, and its revenue went up a staggering 73%. Looking at the number of devices sold last quarter helps put things in perspective:

   Q1FY11 Q4FY11 Q1FY12
iPhones  16.24 million 17.07 million 37.04 million
iPads  7.33 million 11.12 million  15.43 million
Macs 4.13 million 4.89 million  5.2 million
iPods  19.45 million 6.62 million  15.4 million

Yes, iPhone sales ballooned up from 16 million units to 37 million, while iPad sales more than doubled—and here I was thinking Android was getting all up in Apple's business. Those numbers can't be put in context until Android device shipment figures are out, but still, damn. The iPhone 4S's arrival on October 14 must be at least partly responsible for the explosion in growth. I would guess the iPhone 4's price drop to $99 also drew in a lot of folks.

In its almost comically terse announcement, Apple says it expects revenue of "about $32.5 billion" for the ongoing quarter. That would represent a substantial leap over the $24.67 million Apple posted for Q2FY11, which would no doubt call for new instances of the word "record" in headlines. And so the cycle continues.

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