Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New Apple Numbers Smashing Records

Apple has announced its numbers for the quarter ending September, and they are eyepopping. They hit a record $20 billion in revenue, with a profit of $4.3 billion. They sold 14.1 million iPhones... and they could have sold more, only they couldn't build them fast enough. Meanwhile, they also sold 9 million iPods and 4.2 million iPads (oh, yes, and Mac sales hit 3.9 million, a 27% increase).

Some very interesting information came along with this. First, the App Store has hit 300,000 Apps (for comparison purposes, the Android Market is over 90,000 Apps). Second, the number of iOS devices out there has hit 125 million, which is getting pretty darn close to the number of Nintendo DS units out there (132 million as of June). Clearly, given the respective sales rates, Apple will easily pass Nintendo's installed base this next quarter, and never look back no matter how well the 3DS does. Third, the iPad has become one of the fastest-selling gadgets ever, if not the fastest. Some analysts were disappointed Apple didn't sell 5 million, but there were supply constraints.

Oh, and Apple managed to sell over 9 million iPods, too, though that number was down 11% over last year. Probably had to do with the transition to the new iPod based on the iPhone 4. The new Apple TV sold 250,000 units, though of course it didn;t have very much of that quarter to work with. Still, it managed to match the Wii in sales for that month. (Wait until Apple puts the App Store on the Apple TV, then the floodgates will open.) Plus, Apple said they had hit a peak of 300,000 iOS product activations per day, handily beating Google's 200,000 per day. Apple also casually mentioned that Blackberry sold 12.1 million units in that period... the iPhone has now blown past the business leader. The iPad is making strong inroads into the business market, which is surprising to some people. Netbooks, notebooks, and consoles are all beginning to feel the impact of the tablet revolution, which is only just beginning. Note that the iPad-specific apps number over 35,000 and climbing.

What can we expect in the next year? Their numbers will only look better. Assuming Apple can get over their supply problems, they should be able to maintain their iPhone sales at least at that level. The long-rumored Verizon iPhone may actually appear next year, and if it does those numbers will climb higher. We should be seeing at least 5 million iPhones every month, maybe more. The iPad will probably hit close to 2 million per month. The iPod Touch will probably be 2 million per month. The Apple TV may even hit 1 million per month once it gets an App Store.

Consider, this, too: Apple is now the second largest company in the world by market capitalization. Their sales make them bigger than Microsoft, and in the upcoming quarter they'll beat Google and Microsoft, too. Cash in the bank is close to $50 billion... which means they can acquire whatever they feel they need to in order to increase their business. If they want to spend a bit more on marketing in any category, they can overwhelm any competitor.

Those numbers put the entire console business in the dust. No wonder sales are down. Will console makers figure out that their business model needs to change? Will Microsoft somehow get it together with Windows Phone 7 and the Xbox 360 and the Kinect to make a solid family room competitor? Can Sony put together a PSP2 and an online media store connected to the PS3 that will offer a compelling alternative? Will Nintendo finally create a successor to the Wii and reinvent their WiiWare and DSIWare stores? Or is Google the only effective competitor left?

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