Apple confirms leaked iPhone is genuine, posts 90% profit increase

Tech giant Apple has recorded its best second quarter profit ever, selling over eight million iPhones and recording profit growth of over 90% to $3 billion.

But in a black mark on the company’s usually obsessively secretive nature, it has confirmed the leaked prototype iPhone revealed by a prominent tech blog is indeed an official piece of hardware owned by the company – and it isn’t happy about the loss.

In a financial update yesterday, the company announced it recorded $US13.5 billion during the quarter, making it the second-biggest three-month period in the company’s history. The best quarter was only recorded during the previous three months over Christmas.

The iPhone was the main product of the season, with the company selling 8.7 million units. Moving to a touch-screen basis has helped the company out tremendously, with iPod Touch sales up by 63% year-over-year, compared to traditional iPod sales which declined 1.2%.

The company also recorded fairly strong Mac sales, selling 2.94 million units, representing a 33% increase from the previous corresponding period. Chief executive Steve Jobs said in a statement the result was extremely satisfactory, and that the company is continuing to ride a wave of demand with the iPad.

“Looking ahead to the third fiscal quarter of 2010, we expect revenue in the range of about $13.0 billion to $13.4 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share in the range of about $2.28 to $2.39,” chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer said in a statement.

In a conference call following the announcement, chief operating officer Tim Cook said the company has been caught by surprise by the iPad’s popularity, resulting in delays for an international launch. In the first week after its launch, the iPad sold 500,000 units with some analysts already expecting one million sales within the next few days.

Cook said the device’s popularity “has shocked us”, and that the company is still positioning the gadget as a superior alternative to netbooks. “To me, it’s a no-brainer… It’s sort of 100 to 0. I can’t think of a single thing a netbook does well.”

Meanwhile, chief executive Steve Jobs said in a statement the company has “several more extraordinary products in the pipeline for this year”.

This is likely referring to new iPhone hardware, traditionally released during the middle of the year. But the next model of the market-dominating smartphone may have been spoiled for fans already, with the company finally admitting a prototype lost in a bar by an employee is indeed an official piece of tech.

The company sent a letter to tech blog Gizmodo, which yesterday published an extensive account of how a prototype iPhone fell into its hands. The letter stated that Gizmodo “is currently in possession of a device that belongs to Apple. This letter constitutes a formal request that you return the device to Apple.”

Meanwhile, results were also good in search advertising with industry giant Yahoo announcing solid financial results for the first quarter of the year. Revenue gained 1% to $US1.5 billion, along with “income from operations” increasing from $US101 million to $US188 million.

Display advertising grew by 20% year-over-year, with guaranteed display growing by 24%. Chief executive Carol Bartz said the quarter was solid, “delivering income from operations higher than our outlook”.

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