Apple Profits Boom As Lion Roars And Jobs Spins

Apple is having a busy day with a record-breaking quarter, the Mac OS X Lion release and a Jobs vacancy

Apple has just returned another record-breaking quarter on the day before it delivers the Mac OS X Lion at long last. At the same time, it is looking for a replacement for Steve Jobs, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

For the last financial quarter, Apple’s year on year profits were up by 125 percent on revenue that rose by 82 percent to $28.6 billion (£17.7bn). The $7.3 billion (£4.5bn) profits were principally down to iPhone sales.

Profits Continue To Boom

“We were thrilled to sell a record 20.3 million iPhones compared with 8.4 million in the previous quarter. This represents 142 percent year on year growth which is more than double [market researcher] IDC’s latest published estimate of 67 percent growth for the global smartphone market overall in the June quarter. Recognised revenue from the iPhone handset and accessories was $13.3 billion during the quarter compared with $5.3 billion in the year-ago quarter – an increase of 150 percent.”

Although the iPhone is Apple’s best performer, the iPad is still its other star. During the last three months, Apple has shifted 9.2 million tablets. IDC does not count tablets in its PC market research but adding in the iPads to the 84.4 million PCs sold per quarter implies that the iPad now accounts for just under 10 percent of this combined market.

Even the Apple Macintosh computers managed to buck the trend. Given that IDC estimates PC market growth at two percent per quarter, the Mac sales increase of five percent compared with the last quarter is over double the trend.

It is hardly surprising that the booming sales of the multipurpose iPhone and iPad are having a detrimental effect on the iPod range which saw a 20 percent decline in sales.

Lion Sales Set To Roar

Moving away from recent history, Apple announced today that Mac OS X Lion is available from the Mac App Store for £20.99. The operating system has 250 added features, according to Apple, which includes new multitouch gestures; improved support for full-screen apps; the new Mission Control which gives a view of everything running on the Mac; the Mac App Store as part of the OS; a home for all app icons which is called Launchpad; and a completely redesigned Mail application.

Situation Vacant Or Not

Speculation around Steve Jobs’ future still abounds and the latest rumour from the WSJ is that the company is looking for candidates to replace him as CEO. According to the newspaper, several Apple board members have been in talks with at least one possible replacement, the head of an unnamed high-profile tech company.

Since Jobs (pictured right) took leave of Apple last January with no specified date for when, or if, he will return, shareholders have been apprehensive that there is no obvious successor to Apple’s throne. Although the financials will boost confidence in the company, it would make sense to have someone lined up onboard for the top job.

Despite the talk, Jobs himself dismissed the rumour in no uncertain terms. “I think it’s hogwash,” he reportedly told the Journal.