New iphones give apple a boost

New iphones give apple a boost

In the fourth quarter from july to september, the group sold almost 33.8 million of its smartphones, a good quarter more than a year earlier. However, the iphone company’s profits remained below the hopes of many borsians.

"We had a strong finish to a remarkable year," company chief tim cook said in a conference call with analysts on monday. He now also expects good sales at christmas. The recently introduced new ipad tablets are expected to be the main contributor to this. "It’s going to be an ipad christmas," cook said.

Presumably because many customers were waiting for the new models, the number of ipads sold rose only marginally to 14.1 million in the past quarter. Apple presented the latest generation of its tablet computers only a week ago: the large model ipad air became darker and more powerful, the small model got a sharper screen. The new ipad mini is expected to hit the market at the end of november, just in time for christmas, the rough ipad air this friday.

In the meantime, it was the new iphone models that drove the business forward. Group sales increased by 4 percent compared to the prior-year quarter to 37.5 billion dollars (27.2 billion euros). From april to june, the company was still treading water.

Apple had unveiled the iphone 5s, equipped with a fingerprint scanner and an improved camera, and the slightly cheaper iphone 5c with a colorful plastic casing in september. The group sold nine million units in the first weekend of sales – a new record. However, apple did not disclose how iphone sales are distributed among the different models.

In the same period, profits fell by 9 percent to 7.5 billion dollars. This was partly due to higher development and marketing costs. Earnings expectations for the important christmas quarter also initially disappointed some investors. Chief financial officer peter oppenheimer pointed to higher production costs for the new ipad air and the new macbook pro notebooks, which were also recently unveiled. In addition, apple is now giving away its mac operating system as well as previously paid-for office and multimedia software. This prints the return on investment. Investors were satisfied with these results: apple shares, which initially fell sharply in the aftermath, later made up for the losses. In early trading on tuesday it fell by about one percent.

Apple struggles against strong competitors like samsung. The south koreans had announced a record profit only on friday. Smartphone bestseller here is the galaxy S4.

Apple’s sales figures in particular exceeded analysts’ expectations. Above all, business in the hope market of china was significantly better again; europe also recovered. Apple’s strongest growth was in japan, where it added NTT docomo, a major wireless carrier, as a new customer. The main market of america, on the other hand, weakened somewhat.

Mac sales fell by 7 percent to 4.6 million units. Here, too, many customers waited for new imac models, preferring a tablet or using their smartphone to surf the web and write e-mails – but unlike many PC manufacturers, apple also offers these products.

Apple’s cash pile has barely grown recently, mainly due to the ongoing share buyback and dividends. In total, apple had $146.8 billion in cash at last count.

The money is the target of the belligerent US investor carl icahn, who bought into apple and is now demanding a debt-financed increase of the share buyback by 150 billion dollars. CEO cook rebuffed icahn, at least for the time being. He explained that nothing will be decided in the matter of capital before the next year.


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