Apple blew away Wall Street today with its fiscal 2014 fourth quarter results, reporting a profit of $8.5 billion, or $1.42 a share on sales of $42.2 billion. Wall Street predicted revenue of $39.85 billion.
Macs Surprise Hit
In a remarkable story, Apple sold a million more Macs this quarter than the year ago quarter, reaching a quarter record of 5.5 million units and revenues of $6.6 billion. Ten years ago Apple’s total yearly revenue, which was already including its sensational iPod music player, was $8.2 billion. It’s important to put that in perspective but today Apple’s Mac business is so strong it nearly accomplishes in one quarter of the year what Apple was doing as a total business a little more than a decade ago.
“It was just an absolutely blow-away quarter—our best ever,” enthused Cook during today’s conference call with analysts. “It’s just absolutely stunning.”
Apple’s Mac sales are so strong the company not only sold more Macs than any quarter in its history—going back to the very beginning in 1984—but it earned the best performing market share since 1995, a peak period for Apple during the PowerPC years and the promise of the AIM Alliance with IBM and Motorola.
Apple’s mobiles had sizzling sales but so to did its entire lineup of Macs, including its popular iMac series. This past week Apple also introduced the revolutionary new Retina iMac, offering the world’s first 5K display integrated into a personal computer. The new Retina iMac also ships with the fastest CPU in the world for ‘single-threaded” applications, which means the vast majority of programs written for computers send their zeros and ones marching into the CPU’s registers in single lines of execution.
As the Mac continues to grow by by double digital percentages the PC market in general is completely flat to slightly declining depending on the quarter for the past several years since the emergence of the tablet computer. Both iPad and Android and Kindle devices have eaten severely into the PC market’s past growth curve. But this phenomenon isn’t happening with Apple. Instead, of the iPad eating into Apple’s personal computing business, or the smartphone line eating into the mobile computer business, Apple gains new Mac devotees who never tried a Mac before but have been swayed by the so-called ‘Halo Effect’ of the other smaller devices, the iPhone in particular.
Many experts below, as does this author too, that Apple’s historic new alliance with IBM over iPad in the enterprise, will also accelerate Mac sales into the enterprise, further boosting Mac OS X market share growth further for the next few years.