Quick take on Apple’s earnings

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(updated below)

My colleague John Boudreau is feverishly writing a story about Apple’s earnings. But here’s my quick take:

1. Very good quarter for the Mac. Apple sold 2.6 million Macs in the quarter, coming within spitting distance of the most the company has ever sold in a quarter. Unit sales were up 4 percent from the same quarter last year.

That may not sound like much, but given the terrible economic environment in general and the slumping PC market in particular, the Mac results are solid.And the company did even better on the laptop front, after its recent refresh. Unit sales of the Macbook (and Macbook Pro) were up 13 percent from the same period a year ago.

But it wasn’t all good. Reflecting Apple’s recent price cut, revenue from its computer sales fell 8 percent from the same quarter a year ago.

2. iPod sales were poor. The holidays are the big period for iPod sales, so we shouldn’t have expected much. Even then, iPod sales were not good.

Unit sales of the devices fell 7 percent to 10.2 million. That’s the fewest iPods Apple’s sold in a quarter in since the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007; that was 7 quarters ago.

On a dollar basis, sales fell even more sharply, declining 11 percent from the same quarter a year ago to $8.2 billion. You have to go back to the second quarter of fiscal 2007 to find a period in which the value of Apple’s iPod sales were less.

Meanwhile, as a portion of Apple’s total revenue, its iPod business was just 17.9 percent. That’s the lowest its been since the third quarter of fiscal 2004, a lifetime ago when it comes to these devices.

3. The iPhone is steaming along. Apple sold 5.2 million iPhones in the quarter, reflecting a big bump from the new iPhone 3G S. That’s the second most iPhones Apple’s sold in any quarter, following the fall quarter last year,  when the iPhone 3G launched.

UPDATE

John’s story is up. You can read it here.

 

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