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Apple continues to add to its war chest, sells record numbers of iPhones

It's beginning to become a broken record when reporting on Apple's quarterly earnings, but the boys from Cupertino have done it again. Apple today announced its earnings for fiscal Q1 2012 and the results are as usual very impressive.
The company reported net profit of $13.06 billion on revenue of $46.33 billion ($13.87 per diluted share). Profit for fiscal Q1 2012 was more than double that of fiscal Q1 2011, while gross margins came in at 44.7 percent compared to 38.5 percent a year ago.
“We’re thrilled with our outstanding results and record-breaking sales of iPhones, iPads and Macs,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “Apple’s momentum is incredibly strong, and we have some amazing new products in the pipeline.”

As for product sales numbers, Apple sold 37.04 million iPhones during the quarter (a 128 percent increase) and 15.43 million iPads (a 111 percent increase). The company's Mac sales also saw an increase, but "only" saw a 24 percent increase year-over-year to 5.2 million units.
Apple iPods, however, continue their downward spiral in this age of digital convergence. Sales of the portable music players were down 21 percent to 15.4 million units.

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By quiksilvr on 1/24/2012 5:16:53 PM , Rating: 3
It's good to see that no matter how small the profit margins are, they are still supporting this product.

But in all honesty, I think its time for the Shuffle to go and the Nano to either a) DIE or b) DIE.

By Solandri on 1/25/2012 5:30:16 AM , Rating: 5
Sansa Clip/Clip+ is half the price, about twice the size, up to 4x the memory capacity, same battery life, has a display (crucial for navigating playlists and albums), a FM radio, a mic for recording, and the + can take a microSD card. Audio quality is pretty much the same. I really would suggest taking a look at one before settling for a Shuffle.

By nafhan on 1/25/2012 9:37:40 AM , Rating: 1
My experience has been quite the opposite. I have a Clip+ and the battery generally lasted through 2 weeks of listening for an hour a day in my carpool, and I definitely never worked out long enough to run down the battery.
I agree that the actual "clip" isn't that great, though. It needs to be clipped in a vertical position to something horizontal to stay in place (works great clipped to the waist of my shorts).
All that said... I did get mine a few years ago. So, my experiences may not be indicative of what they are selling now. The margins on these things has to be razor thin; I wouldn't be surprised if the quality has suffered over the past few years.

By Solandri on 1/25/2012 4:22:59 PM , Rating: 2
My experience has been the same. About 12-15 hours battery life playing music (I got about 6 hours recording off the FM radio). I've also left my old Clip unused in the drawer for a year after I upgraded. I took it out last month and it was still holding about 60% charge. The battery life absolutely has not been a problem for me. The only times I've run it down was when I forgot to turn it off and it was in repeat mode.

The clip on my original Clip was very sturdy. Then I read somewhere that you could remove it for a slimmer profile. Curiosity got the better of me. It took about 10 min of effort but I finally got the thing off (I had to use a wrench). Ever since then it's felt a little flimsy, and the clip comes off too easily now. I'm not quite sure what lesson to draw from this. If it ain't broke, don't mess with it? I believe the clip on the Clip Zip is permanently attached now.

I also left off the list that the Clip/Clip+ uses a standard mini-USB plug (micro-USB in the Clip Zip) to charge and transfer data. This means I carry a single cable with me on trips for my phone, MP3 player, digital camera memory card reader, and portable external HDD. It also means that I can listen to it while it's charging (though not while it's connected to a computer - that puts it into USB transfer mode). The Shuffle uses a proprietary connector which plugs into the headphone jack.

I'm not so hot on the idea of rating people down because you disagree with their experiences. Everyone's experience is unique, and it is their prerogative (some would say social duty) to share it. I'm not saying the Clip is a better device than the Shuffle for everyone. I'm just saying I found the features and compromises to be a more than acceptable trade-off, and anyone shopping for a jogging/gym MP3 player would be remiss in buying a Shuffle without first looking at the Clip.

By Pirks on 1/25/2012 7:12:36 PM , Rating: 2
My experience with Clip plus was also very positive. Indeed its twice cheaper than Shuffle and can do so much more, the microSD slot is priceless on its own, not mentioning other nice features like a screen and mic, etc.

Do not buy overpriced Apple stuff just for the sake of brand, don't be an Apple brand whore like macdevdude, look around and test different products before making final decision!

By sprockkets on 1/25/2012 1:26:15 PM , Rating: 2
The new one now has a color screen and I found it for $45 at Costco.

Not that I need one, my Rockbox modded Clip+ works great. :-)

By nafhan on 1/25/2012 9:28:40 AM , Rating: 2
It's terribly overpriced for what you get. You can snag something equivalent for literally $12.
Also, something with GPS (i.e. iPhone or Android phone, etc) is arguably "better" for a lot of runners who don't mind the extra few ounces.

By BZDTemp on 1/25/2012 10:34:18 AM , Rating: 2
I prefer Sony's but both companies make good players so it's a matter of taste. Also both can do with better headphones and here Sony has Apple beaten by a mile.

By jarman on 1/25/2012 4:57:05 PM , Rating: 2
That's a good point and I've struggled to find an alternate set of headphones/earbuds that sounded decent, could tolerate getting covered in sweat, and would still stay in place.

The Sennheiser CX 680i was the only set that seemed to really meet (although marginally) each criteria.

By tayb on 1/24/2012 6:41:31 PM , Rating: 1
You have it wrong. The profit margins on the iPod Classic are probably enormous. It's $249 and the bill of materials is probably $40. You also have to realize that if Apple wasn't making tons of money on this product they would kill it. No reason not to.

By Mitch101 on 1/24/2012 10:07:00 PM , Rating: 5
Its sad that a company with such record profits cant find a few dollars to solve their Foxconn worker issues. Obviously record profits means the overhead is so much and giving a few dollars to Foxconn workers shouldn't increase the price of their products.

The Apple logo for me is the ultimate picture of corporate greed over human life. People and companies that purchase such products that continue to support this kind of unethical behavior are equally as bad. Turning a blind eye to the way Apple treats humanity way to go human race.

I don't doubt the products are good but I cant bring myself to purchase one knowing how inhumane they are to exploiting their workers out of corporate greed. Sure I believe Apple deserves to make a profit but at what cost to the people who manufacturer their products for your amusement. With profit margins so high one would think working for Foxconn would be the ultimate company to work for.

Im disgusted at humanity for their tolerance to allow this to continue.

By Samus on 1/24/2012 11:21:53 PM , Rating: 2
But we're all told Foxconn employee's are among the most well-paid in China manufacturing...

By sprockkets on 1/25/2012 12:21:52 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah, it's one thing when a company is forced to use China labor to be competitive.

It's a completely different scenario when you have 97 billion dollars in the bank.

But that's OK. In the earnings call, Tim Cook was not prepared for the demand of the iphone in china, so I guess they'll have to work 40 hour shifts now to compensate from the current 35 or so.

By tayb on 1/25/2012 1:40:43 PM , Rating: 2
You do realize that Apple is not the only company who uses Foxconn right? It's really convenient to use this is your excuse to hate Apple but if you hate any company that utilizes cheap Foxconn mass production you will be hating a large number of companies including a lot of the companies that offer Android smart phones, video cards, and motherboards.

Not only that but Foxconn isn't the only manufacturing company in China with piss poor labor records. A vast majority of these mega manufacturing companies are just the same.

So if you hate labor abuse in China and refuse to buy products from companies that support such cheap labor get used to a reality where you don't own electronics.

But don't let facts and reality get in the way of your anti-Apple crusade.

By someguy123 on 1/25/2012 3:34:24 PM , Rating: 3
It's true that many people go to foxconn for production, but their buildings are dedicated to certain companies/devices. The quality of the building and the employee salaries depend on the contract with their respective companies, which is how foxconn maximizes profits. Apple's production building happens to be the worst paid, with the worst conditions.

It's partially foxconn and partially apple, but it doesn't negate apple's part.

By messele on 1/25/2012 6:21:47 PM , Rating: 2
Given that all of Apple's final assembly now takes place in purpose built buildings I think you are going to have to qualify that claim or I am going to accuse you of making it up to suit your agenda.

Fact is EVERY piece of mass produced technology is produced under dubious ethics, you think the Taiwanese or Koreans are any better than the Chinese?

Nobody who owns any modern phone or computer can take the moral high-ground on this one.

By someguy123 on 1/26/2012 3:19:35 AM , Rating: 2
I don't really see how apple's assembly taking place elsewhere is meant to correlate with improved working conditions. I'm just describing the conditions that were reported. If they changed I would welcome a source.

Also I find it a little hilarious that people still continue to justify things with this incredibly cynical view of the world. I'd say the idea that every single producer in the world treats their workers unfairly intentionally is more dubious than the ethics you describe. Many times these companies are proving work in an area without. The ethical implications are not black and white.

By Tony Swash on 1/26/2012 7:19:49 AM , Rating: 2
Apple's production building happens to be the worst paid, with the worst conditions.

Can you show us the evidence to support that statement?

By Reclaimer77 on 1/25/2012 4:17:08 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry but I can't agree with you. Everyone knows I am no Apple supporter, but the simple fact is China and Foxxconn is the ONLY PLACE IN THE WORLD the iPhone can be built. It sure as hell isn't possible to built the iPhone in America.

Foxconn employs 230,000 employees. There's not even 50 US cities with an adult population that high. Think of the scale of it! Foxconn once filled 8,700 engineer openings -- not assembly line workers, but engineering jobs -- in 15 days. It would take a US company, with all the legal hurdles and everything, nine months to find that many.

Remember when Steve Jobs original iPhone screen got scratched up by the keys in his pocket, and he went to Corning and they showed him "gorilla glass"? The ChiComs at Foxconn were able, in six weeks, to redesign and re-manufacturer millions of iPhones with this new screen that had been demanded six weeks prior. The environmental studies necessary for this kind of change would have taken years in America, plus the other obstacles. There simply isn't and never has been a factory in this country that could produce this.

There's another aspect of this. All of the parts that go into an iPhone are made within 25 miles of the factory that assembles them. So if Apple wanted to, they'd have to ship all the parts either by air or by boat across the Pacific Ocean. It makes no economic sense to do it any other way that they're doing it.

iPhones aren't made in America 'cause they can't be. The infrastructure, the labor force doesn't exist at the levels necessary to support Apple's operations or the demand. It just can't happen, not the way things are currently structured in America.

By MrMilli on 1/26/2012 4:32:25 PM , Rating: 2
Yes but not all those 230000 employees built Apple products. Foxconn makes products for dozens of other companies.
Nokia builds a huge portion of it's phones in the EU. They have factories in Finland, Germany & Hungary. They also have factories in China but most of that production is for that region.
Don't say things like iPhones aren't made in America 'cause they can't be because they can if Apple wanted. It's just that Apple wants money and lot's of it.
In difference to Apple, Nokia is a social company (at least it has been but I feel that Mr. Elop wants to change this). Actually this is one of the main reasons why Nokia has such a low profit margin.
BTW new iPhones don't use Corning anymore!

By Makaveli on 1/24/2012 7:18:08 PM , Rating: 3
Lord Jobs would be proud and smiling in his grave right now.

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes
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