Opinion Articles

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Apple's quarterly results: bloodbath or brilliance?

Mark Bridge writes:

They were a proud race. Proud of their individuality. Proud of the simple yet high-tech environment they inhabited.

But their population wasn’t growing as quickly as it had. They weren’t dying out – far from it, because they were committed to the cause – but there weren’t as many bright new faces as there’d been before. And now the Others were moving closer.

Yes, they’d done their best to resist the Others. They’d tried moving into new areas; not running away but expanding. It seemed to work. A new generation – a new race, some said – had been born. Different, yet the same. So why did they still feel as though the Others were getting dangerously close?

That’s not the opening of the worst science-fiction novel of all time. It’s the place where some people think Apple finds itself at the moment.

It's just released quarterly figures that reveal record revenue of $15.7 billion, having sold 8.4 million iPhones and 3.27 million iPads.

Pleasing stuff, you might think – but consultant and writer Tomi Ahonen is calling it a ‘bloodbath’. He says Apple’s share of the smartphone market has dropped, pointing out that recent iPhone sales figures are down from Q1 2010 and from Q4 2009.

That’s not stopping Apple’s profitability. Apple pushed past Microsoft to become the world’s largest technology company (by market capitalisation) in May – and it could soon overtake Microsoft in terms of quarterly revenue, too.

Which raises an interesting question. Apple has a reputation as a manufacturer of niche computer products. Is it now happy for the iPhone to develop the same reputation among smartphones – or will it be fighting to regain its market share?

After all, as one commentator on Tomi’s blog puts it: "Market share is irrelevant. Apple makes more money from a smaller market share. Who doesn't want that?"

Author: The Fonecast
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