Apple storms ahead with new MacBook Air, record sales
Apple's iPad sales double. Asia sales nearly quadruple. Now, Apple rolls out the new MacBook Air.
(Page 2 of 2)
"We will only make products that we are proud of, that are the best in the world. And if we can do that, and the price is lower, then we are great with that," Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook told analysts on the call.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Steve's apples
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
IPad sales came in at 9.25 million units, also above analyst expectations. Last quarter, the company was struggling to make enough of the new iPad 2. Apple has sold nearly 29 million iPads since they first went on sale in April 2010.
In other product categories, trends were less impressive. Sales of Mac computers were 3.95 million, up 14 percent from a year ago. That's the lowest quarterly growth rate in two years.
Cook said some people were probably buying iPads instead of Macs in the quarter, but he said more people were buying iPads over Windows PCs. He said he was pleased with 14 percent growth compared with overall PC market growth of 2.6 percent, as measured by research firm IDC.
Some buyers may also have been holding off while waiting for Lion, the new version of the Mac OS X operating system. Apple had said it would go on sale this month, and Apple confirmed on the call that it will go on sale Wednesday. Lion will cost $29.99 and mimics some of the features of the iPhone and iPad interface.
IPod sales were down 20 percent at 7.5 million, as the music and video players continue to lose out to iPhones and iPads. It was the fastest quarterly decline yet.
Cook is running day-to-day operations while CEO Steve Jobs is on indefinite medical leave. The quarter was the first full one since Jobs went on leave in January. Jobs remains involved in major decisions, including announcements of new products. Analysts don't expect Jobs' leave to affect the company much in the short term. All the company's major products have still been shepherded by Jobs.
Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said he expects earnings of $5.50 per share and revenue of $25 billion in the quarter that just started. Both figures point to a decline from the third quarter. However, the company usually lowballs its financial forecasts, and analysts are unlikely to take the forecast seriously.
Apple's stock surged $18, or 4.8 percent, to $394.85 in extended trading after the company announced results late Tuesday. In the regular session, it hit a 52-week high of $378.65, before closing at $376.85, up nearly 1 percent.
RELATED: 10 most intriguing tablets of 2011