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Industryweek 8156 Apple Cook

Apple Reports Record Earnings on 'Staggering' iPhone Sales

Jan. 28, 2015
The staggering profit topped the $15.9 billion made by ExxonMobil in the second quarter of 2012, according to Standard and Poor's, to write Apple into the history books.

SAN FRANCISCO - Apple's (IW 500/4) quarterly profit rocketed to a corporate record $18 billion at the end of last year on booming sales of big-screen iPhone models, especially in China.

The California tech titan also announced Tuesday that it had sold its one billionth device powered by its iOS mobile operating system, on a day of dizzying figures -- even by Apple's high standards.

And it said that its highly anticipated Apple Watch wearable devices, unveiled last year to fanfare, are on track to begin shipping in April.

"We'd like to thank our customers for an incredible quarter which saw demand for Apple products soar to an all-time high," declared chief executive Tim Cook.

"Demand for iPhone has been staggering, shattering our expectation."

Blockbuster sales of the recently released iPhone 6, in particular, are signs of huge pent-up demand for larger-screen smartphones, likely to boost sales throughout this year, according to Forrester analyst Frank Gillett.

"I believe that, over the arc of time, the iPad is a great business," Cook said. "I am thinking over the long run."

Apple and others are still trying to tune into the rhythm of the market when it comes to how long people typically own tablets before replacing them.

Cook also noted that large-screen iPhones might be nibbling at one edge of iPad sales and Macintosh computers at another edge.

He was confident that an alliance between Apple and IBM announced last year will lead to iPads becoming more enticing for workplaces.

Cook also said Apple is seeing rapid adoption of the Apple Pay mobile financial transactions system, which is synched to the latest generation of iPhone.

'Win for Cook'

Apple Pay is limited to the United States, but the company has been barraged with requests for it from businesses in other countries, according to Cook.

"I think this is the year of Apple Pay," Cook insisted.

Apple's board of directors declared a cash dividend of 47 cents per share to be paid on February 12.

Apple shares rose more than 5% to $115.20 in after-market trades that followed release of the blow-out earnings figures.

Stellar iPhone 6 sales, especially in a China market considered more inclined to low-priced smartphones such as those powered by Android, are a major win for Cook, according to independent analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group in Silicon Valley.

"Tim Cook clearly took a position on iPhone 6 that Steve Jobs never would have taken, and it paid off magnificently," Enderle said of Apple's move to field the bigger screen smartphones.

"He is kicking ass."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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