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Apple posts historic earnings for Q4 fiscal 2008

The stock market is taking a pummeling and many computer makers are feeling the pinch. Dell has been unable to hit its projected earnings due to a soft market while HP maintains it can meet quarterly projections. Apple has kept mum on the state of the economy and has turned significant profit growth for its latest quarter.

Yesterday, Apple reported its financials for Q4 fiscal 2008 that ended on September 27. Apple posted revenue of $7.9 billion and a net quarterly profit of $1.14 billion or $1.26 per diluted share. Comparing those numbers to the same period in 2007 when Apple reported revenue of $6.22 billion and a profit of $904 million for the quarter shows significant growth.

Apple's gross margin for Q4 2008 was 34.7%, up from 33.6% in 2007. After removing cost of goods for iPhone and Apple TV over the products economic lives, adjusted sales for the quarter are $11.68 billion and adjusted income is $2.44 billion.

Apple says that it shipped 2,611,000 Mac computers during the quarter for a 21% growth in shipments over 2007. Cupertino says that it sold 11,052,000 iPods during Q4, which is an 8% growth compared to 2007. IPhone sales over Q4 are 6,892,000 compared to 1,119,000 in Q4 2007. That is a massive growth that can be attributed to the increased desirability of the iPhone 3G over the original iPhone.

Apple is now ahead of Smartphone maker RIM in units sold. Steve Jobs said in a statement, "Apple just reported one of the best quarters in its history, with a spectacular performance by the iPhone—we sold more phones than RIM. We don’t yet know how this economic downturn will affect Apple. But we’re armed with the strongest product line in our history, the most talented employees and the best customers in our industry. And $25 billion of cash safely in the bank with zero debt.”

DailyTech reported in late September that Apple held 20% of the PC market in America. Apple says that 41% of its sales for Q4 came from international sales.

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RE: An Unapologetic Microsoft Fan
By JasonMick on 10/22/2008 10:35:45 AM , Rating: 3
But that's the problem -- none of their claims could be proven as wholly false, as they make general, often emotional statements. Saying a PC has a virus is not false advertising, as PCs can get viruses. It is deceptive, though as it makes it sound like ALL PCs have viruses and Macs are super secure and have none. Virtually every mac ad falls into this mold.

Unfortunately deceptive advertising is not illegal, in fact its very widespread.

The only way Microsoft can cancel Apple's PR advantage is if it can beat it at its own game -- advertising. I think the new "I'm a PC" commercials do a lot towards those ends.

RE: An Unapologetic Microsoft Fan
By 325hhee on 10/22/2008 10:45:26 AM , Rating: 3
I like those "I'm a PC" ads, they don't try to berate or insinuate anything. Unlike the smug apple ads. But one factor people need to remember, you'll always see apple ads everywhere, hollywood is the biggest supporter of apples, and they're all over the place in Movies, TVs, and even webisodes shows.

Sadly the only real product to represent PCs are Dells, in Movies and TV. If Sony is backing a movie, chances you'll see there computers, but you'll still see an apple.

It's sad there are a lot of people out there that'll believe what the News, TVs and Movies tells them. And even today, when I go to stores, I still hear people asking sales reps, I hear apples are easier to use than PCs. It's shocking to me, that was like a 20 yr old statement.

RE: An Unapologetic Microsoft Fan
By michael2k on 10/22/2008 1:16:11 PM , Rating: 2
Except it is true. For an average user an Apple computer IS easier to use than a PC.

It just happens to cost more for that benefit...

RE: An Unapologetic Microsoft Fan
By 325hhee on 10/22/2008 2:02:28 PM , Rating: 3
HOW is apple any easier to use than a PC? Everything is point and click. You push a power button, they both turn on, you use a mouse to point to a program you want to open, they both do the same. You open up a word program and type, they both do the same.

There is no abstract line programing to do on a PC, unless you're running Linux. If you want to delve into other programs like Photoshop, guess what, Adobe makes it, and whether or not its on a crapple or PC, it's the same program. If you don't understand how to use it, it's not because it's the computers fault.

RE: An Unapologetic Microsoft Fan
By Mitch101 on 10/22/2008 2:19:26 PM , Rating: 1
Apple uses Colons instead of Slashes in file paths because Steve Jobs like the Colon as do most Apple users prefer the colon.

RE: An Unapologetic Microsoft Fan
By michael2k on 10/22/2008 2:46:58 PM , Rating: 2
Um, all Macs come with iLife... so to use an example you may be familiar with:
iTunes makes it incredibly easy to manage your music catalog (as it does it for you, placing files in album/artist/genre folders, providing a searchable interface, a smart playlist interface, etc.) On top of that if you have an iPod or iPhone, synching is trivial as it literally is plug and play.

On a Mac, the above description also applies to iPhoto (photo management, making albums, uploading to MobileMe, printing books, printing photos), to iWeb (site management, page management, uploading to MobileMe), to Time Machine (backup is handled automatically, restore is via a nifty space-interface), to system wide keychain access (passwords and logins are all stored in a secured manner not available in Vista), to Spotlight (every change is recorded when a file is written so the index is always updated and search is fast and universal; unlike Vista where not everything is indexed and where search isn't universal! Try searching for "system restore" in an Explorer Window. The only way it is "universal" is if you know to go to My Computer first), to installation (Mac defaults to a single drag and drop App container, Vista defaults to a wizard based installer requiring hundreds of files, usually), and finally to UAC (Mac asks when the system files are going to be changed or a password protected file is going to be read, Vista will ask just so you can launch Device Manager!)

So there are differences that show up in day to day use.

RE: An Unapologetic Microsoft Fan
By Pirks on 10/22/2008 3:38:53 PM , Rating: 2
So there are differences that show up in day to day use.
Here's another difference between Mac and Windows PC. When you press Win-D twice on a PC you get windows Z order messed up (topmost window disappears under some background window) and windows flicker and redraw like hell on Vista Aero (so all this GPU-based Aero stuff is no more than pure marketing BS from Ballmer's gang, just press Win-D twice and see for yourself). Use the same function (F11 keyboard key) on a Mac and it's a beauty and elegance itself compared with PC's ugliness. When you press F11 on a Mac windows slide away beautifully from the desktop, and then you press F11 again and they smoothly return back to their positions and the Z order is not messed up like on a PC.

What does it tell you guys? If you are a Windows fanatic (people like reclaimer, savage potato and others, they know who they are) then obviously you will argue that this never happens, that Vista is not at fault, that Ballmer is good and everything is good yada yada, I heard all that.

But I'm not a Windows fanatic so I can't stay blind to this. It's obvious to me and anyone who's not fanatical that MS simply can't code their user interfaces properly. Their coders do crap job most of the time, they just don't know what is beauty and elegance in user interface.

This is one of the reasons the Apple Tax does exist. If MS were doing their job properly, with passion and attention to detail (i.e. Apple-style) then the Apple Tax couldn't exist at all. It's that simple :)

RE: An Unapologetic Microsoft Fan
By croc on 10/22/2008 6:27:55 PM , Rating: 1
Bullshit. I'v got five programs running, win d works as advertised... show desktop. Next press, all windows are back in place, no muss no fuss.

RE: An Unapologetic Microsoft Fan
By Pirks on 10/22/2008 8:46:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, MS has advertised this feature as "show and hide desktop" so you right in that sense - Win-D indeed shows and hides desktop, so it does work as advertised. It's the little details I mentioned above that make a big difference. Sometimes "as advertised" is not enough after you've seen how competition does the same thing. Try F11 in Mac OS X and you'll see what I'm talking about.

If you don't have a competitor to compare Windows against - no wonder this sounds like a BS to you. Your reaction is perfectly normal for a person who has never worked with Mac OS X.

RE: An Unapologetic Microsoft Fan
By croc on 10/22/2008 11:40:18 PM , Rating: 2
It works just fine for me, and at the office I DO support OS x... I just place them on the firewall's DMZ for security. Your 'f11' key is no better than 'win d'. They both work as advertised. So bugger off, please...

RE: An Unapologetic Microsoft Fan
By Pirks on 10/23/2008 12:09:42 AM , Rating: 2
You must be a Windows fanatic. I can't find any other reasonable explanation for not seeing the obvious - ugly flickering when windows get redrawn after pressing Win-D twice. I don't own any Macs and not going to 'cause I'm a gamer, (but I use PowerMac G5 at work, bought for me by my company for some special Mac-only software), hence I can't be Mac fanatic but still I can see Win-D ugliness very clearly.

Z order is not always screwed in Windows, only sometimes, so it's normal that you don't see it (you probably have 2-3 windows open, then this bug is not likely to appear) but not seeing obvious flickering and ugly window redrawing? If you are not Windows fanatic then maybe you use just a couple of very lightweight apps like notepad, maybe their windows don't flicker and redraw in a less ugly and noticeable way, hence your inability to see what I see.

Well, anyway, here's smoe more food for thought:

Yeah, it's not about flickering and F11 but it adds another chink in Windows armor and pushes even more people to Apple.

RE: An Unapologetic Microsoft Fan
By nitrous9200 on 10/22/2008 4:01:31 PM , Rating: 2
Well, here goes!
Windows Media Player is just as easy to figure out as iTunes without being so bloated and only supporting a few players through proprietary methods, and has enough features to be a good media manager including live library updating which iTunes doesn't have. (I'm not saying WMP is grat but it performs the same task) I would never waste my money on such a proprietary music player or phone.
And while you may have all these photo and video apps (which us "PC" users have had for a while), we're not forced to using one specific service like MobileMe. You obviously don't know about Windows Live either, which has web-based and desktop-based apps that do the same things as your MobileMe for free. I also use a CMS for my website because I can edit my website anywhere, even completely redesign it and add extra plug-in functionality. Can't do that with a desktop based editor. Time Machine, i.e. Backup. How about skipping past the nifty space-interface and just letting me right click on a file and choose a previous version? Pretty simple. An installation wizard is SO difficult and lengthy, yes, but I don't see how having to download a DMG, mounting it as a drive and dragging the icon from one place to another is so intuitive (Apple's favorite word to describe their products) either. I couldn't figure it out at first, partly because it's so impersonal unlike a wizard. And finally to UAC, it prompts you when you are going to make a system level change, simple as that. Going into the device manager is a system task, so I'm not sure why you chose that example. Whatever, I'm not trying to change anyone's opinion, I'm just saying what I think.

RE: An Unapologetic Microsoft Fan
By ebakke on 10/22/2008 4:33:43 PM , Rating: 2
Windows Media Player is just as easy to figure out as iTunes without being so bloated and only supporting a few players through proprietary methods


RE: An Unapologetic Microsoft Fan
By michael2k on 10/22/2008 6:53:01 PM , Rating: 2
I'll take a single point of yours:

Why should the system change when you launch device manager? You aren't prompted when you enable/disable a device, but you are when you launch device manager. Isn't that kind of backwards? Heck, in researching backup, the backup wizard requires UAC approval!

And you don't address my points on simplicity: I only use iTunes as an example, I never claimed WMP wasn't similarly intuitive.

I have PCs, and you fail to point to a similar photo app that is as intuitive as iPhoto. I use Picassa, and while nice, isn't nearly AS nice. And you mention a CMS; which CMS can you buy for under $16? (Assuming iPhoto is $16, iWeb is $16, GarageBand is $16, iMovie is $16, and iDVD is $16)? Or alternatively, under $40 if you want to argue Picassa is equivalent to iPhoto and iMovie is equivalent to Windows Movie Maker?

How about my points on automatic backup? Vista File Backup is at best daily while at worst monthly... Mac OS X backup is BETTER because it occurs HOURLY for the past 24 hours, daily for the past month, and weekly for anything older... How is that not by definition better than anything Vista has?

As for install:
Windows -> Download compressed installer, extract installer, execute installer, step through wizard, close wizard
OS X -> Download DMG, OS asks your permission to mount DMG, copy file to computer

I mean, how is that NOT intuitive? The DMG normally has instructions right in the folder saying, "Please copy this application to your computer --->" with arrow included!

So my point still stands: UAC shows up way too often, and worse, doesn't when you actually do change the system via restore or driver install, backup on the Mac is actually better, applications are simpler or better for consumer oriented tasks, and I haven't even mentioned the benefits of Expose, Dashboard, and Spaces over Flip3D and SideBar.

RE: An Unapologetic Microsoft Fan
By web2dot0 on 10/23/2008 5:49:26 AM , Rating: 3
Everyone in this forum is thinking like a power user. For a everyday joe user, OSX is more intuitive to use. Their features are more refined. Less buttons to screw up.

Look at iMAC. how many ways can you plug something wrong?!?!?! You save a whole lot of space on the desk too. All basic software is included. They have iTunes integeration, decent dvd player software, you can preview movies better than most .... it gets the job done.

A PC .... you have to hook up video connector, install drivers, defrag hdd, virus scanners, spydoctor, ... the list goes on and on. For someone who's done it before, no problem, but for avg joe, it just doesn't make sense.

RE: An Unapologetic Microsoft Fan
By Lord 666 on 10/22/2008 10:49:58 AM , Rating: 2
Its all about price. Xbox360 sales took off when there was a price cut, the same with the iPhone. Nvidia cut prices drastically when the 48xx's came out.

With software, upgrading is always a hard sell if its not "broken" already. Put Apple back on a defensive by undercutting the price of the OS to $50. Then play the economic situtation with the advertising tag line of "Can you afford Apple" positioning the high costs of being a smug Apple fan.

Remember when browsers were at a cost? Microsoft undercut that by including IE for free. Microsoft has always positioned itself as the value leader, shouldn't be an different with Vista.

RE: An Unapologetic Microsoft Fan
By wordsworm on 10/22/2008 1:23:57 PM , Rating: 2
. It is deceptive, though as it makes it sound like ALL PCs have viruses and Macs are super secure and have none.

You know, as a teacher when I gave out homework to be done on a computer, I'd get at least 30% or so saying that their computer weren't working all that well, were broken, or were about to be fixed due to viruses on machines running XP. Feeling secure online with a Mac is the biggest incentive to change teams. If those folks want to play a game, usually they buy a Nintendo or some other less popular gaming TV box. Businesses, who want to be able to count on their computers, are also wooed by the fact that an Apple out of the box usually runs better than a PC out of the box. Now, I have a PC, won't be going Mac at least until the PC is on the verge of extinction. I haven't had a virus since around 2002. I'm no computer guru, but I've devoted a fair amount of time to understanding how to protect my machine from them, which is something technophobes are repulsed from.

Jobs is a genius, there's no doubt about that. He took a flailing company and is quickly turning it into competition for the biggest computer distributors, the most popular portable media player, and their phone business is rocking as well. They're missing out on the netbook revolution that ASUS began, but surely that's temporary.

RE: An Unapologetic Microsoft Fan
By croc on 10/22/2008 6:11:33 PM , Rating: 2
OS X is arguably the most insecure OS to ever be allowed to attach to the internet. In every SANS vulnerabilities list released, there are unpatched, un-acknowledged holes all over the place. Apple never really acknowledges a hole, but sometimes in their next patch that flaw just 'might' disappear. Patch notes? Huh? You don't need to know, trust Apple. Then they sell the end user a patch rollup, and call it an upgrade. Upgrade notes? Marketing spiel...

Is MS perfect? No, of course not. But when a flaw is found, they at least acknowledge it, and will include the patch in their next SCHEDULED update. With detailed notes, BTW... If the flaw is harmful enough, they'll release an out of cycle patch.

Properly installed/used, MS is pretty secure.

Apple depends on 'security through obscurity', and also the fact that their users are even more clueless about their OS than MS's users...

RE: An Unapologetic Microsoft Fan
By wordsworm on 10/24/2008 9:34:50 AM , Rating: 2
Vista, imo, is the most secure OS I've used since Windows 2000. But seriously, when XP came out and for awhile after that, unless you did your duty in getting 3rd party fills, you were like Scully walking through a long-term prison facility. You were a walking advertisement for abuse.

Don't get me wrong, XP was a great OS, but out of the box it was a beacon for predators.

But, maybe I really would have to buy a Mac to become intimate with its defects.

RE: An Unapologetic Microsoft Fan
By nikon133 on 10/22/2008 7:05:14 PM , Rating: 2
But isn't that false security?

The only reason Mac is free of viruses is that no one gets Mac to do programming, so there's no one out there to write viruses... yet.

For me, that is as saying "I'm safe on the streets not because my car has 6 airbags and 5-stars in crash test, but because I'm driving carefully". That is true for only as long as everyone else is driving carefully (which is what we have in the land of Mac now). But as soon as some people stop driving carefully, you learn you're not safe at all.

As the Mac's market share and profile grow, programmers will start emerging. Hackers will start emerging. Mac is like a candy store with doors wide open and store owner on the lunch break; sooner or later, someone wise kid, with no real games to play with on Mac, will decide to "educate" himself in the art of virus making for fun. It is just in humans' nature.

RE: An Unapologetic Microsoft Fan
By michael2k on 10/23/2008 2:43:17 PM , Rating: 2
False? More like temporary security.

As long as Macs cost just a little bit more than PCs, they will maintain their niche status... even if the niche grows to 20%. And as long as they cost more and maintain a niche status, virus writers have no incentive to write to them.

And as long as that is true, then viruses will be few and far between. Eventually Macs will drop in price to the point that even virus writers will buy them... but that will probably be 10 years from now when a Mac costs $120 and a PC costs $100...

RE: An Unapologetic Microsoft Fan
By nikon133 on 10/22/2008 5:50:54 PM , Rating: 2
Actually they do false claims as well.

Like the one with digital camera. I have older Canon digital camera that came with Windows-only software. Plus I saw another one that, while it worked with Mac, had limited functionality - PC software bundle had more features.

True, I'm talking about older cameras - early 2000-ish. Along the way difference in support was reduced and likely disappeared, but I do challenge you to find any digital camera that works with Mac and does not come with same or better Windows support. Yet for a newbie, message is simple and very misleading - if you want to do digital photo, you're better and safer of with Mac. And that is a simple, complete and utter LIE - not just an emotional statement.

RE: An Unapologetic Microsoft Fan
By kelmon on 10/23/2008 12:37:42 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, but I disagree with this statement entirely. The whole point of digital photography on the Mac is that you only need to plug the camera or memory card and away you go. There is no need to load drivers or software to access the pictures. This makes things a lot simpler for the user and has the advantage that you don't need to load any software to access pictures from a friend's camera, which is pretty convenient.

The Mac OS also understands RAW files for most cameras so you can see what the pictures look like in the Finder without needing to "developing" them first in software like Adobe Camera RAW.

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