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It may not be able to do so in the future, though

Apple managed to meet analyst expectations regarding its second quarter earnings report, and even plans to dole out additional cash to investors. 

For Q2 2013 that ended March 30, Apple posted a net profit of $9.5 billion ($10.09 per diluted share). However, profit was down 18 percent compared to the same period last year; this was Apple's first year-over-year profut decline in nearly 10 years. Revenue came in at $43.6 billion, which was a boost from $39.2 billion in the year-ago quarter. 

Analysts expected around $10.07 per share on revenue of $42.5 billion.

Second quarter sales were at 37.4 million iPhones, 19.5 million iPads and a little under 4 million Macs. 

“We are very fortunate to be in a position to more than double the size of the capital return program we announced last year,” Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said in the statement. “We believe so strongly that repurchasing our shares represents an attractive use of our capital that we have dedicated the vast majority of the increase in our capital return program to share repurchases.”

Apple now has $145 billion in cash, and the board announced that it will return an extra $55 billion in cash to shareholders as part of a capital program that was introduced in March 2012. The board said it will double the $45 billion cash-return program, intending to up the spend on share repurchases and buybacks to $100 billion through the end of 2015.

For Q3 2013, Apple expects sales of $33.5 billion-$35.5 billion and gross margin is expected between 36 percent and 37 percent. Analysts were anticipating Q3 sales of $39.34 billion and gross margin of 38.8 percent. 

Many investors weren’t expecting the best figures to come from Apple’s quarterly earnings report this time around, mainly because the Cupertino-based company has had a pretty tough year – and it shows in the company’s stock price. Apple shares have fallen from $702.10 in September to $406.13 at the time of this article. The stock price plunged to $400 after supplier Cirrus Logic Inc. warned investors that its margins had weakened. This is indicative of Apple’s weak sales of flagship devices because Cirrus's chip stock fluctuates mainly with the sales of Apple's devices – since that’s its largest customer.
Apple ditched Google Maps as its main iOS maps app in favor of its own in-house service last year. Apple Maps debuted with the iOS 6 launch in September, but the application failed miserably when it came to navigation and geography. Apple CEO Tim Cook was even forced to apologize for the mishap.
Beyond the mapping issues, Apple had a huge executive shakeup in 2012. In October, Apple Vice President of iOS Software Scott Forstall was booted from the company as a result of the poor job on the maps app. John Browett, head of Apple Retail, was fired at the same time for orchestrating a failed retail hiring formula. A month later, Richard Williamson -- manager of the Apple mapping team – was fired as well.
Competition from Google’s Android operating system and it’s key hardware maker Samsung has posed a huge threat toward Apple, too. Apple's iPhone only represented about 19 percent of worldwide smartphone shipments in 2012 while all Android-powered smartphones accounted for about 70 percent. Android will even beat Apple in the tablet sector this year, according to a new report from IDC.According to IDC, iPad shipments are expected to make up 46 percent of the tablet market for 2013, down from 51 percent in 2012. Android-powered tablets are expected to increase their market share to 49 percent in 2013, up from 42 percent in 2012.

Samsung is expected to break another profit record for its fiscal Q2 2013 quarterly earnings, with an earnings guidance of $7.7 billion USD profit (up from $5 billion USD in the year-ago quarter).

Apple and Google are even branching out to another competitive realm in mobile electronics: wearable technology. Google is now offering its Google Glass headset (which is an augmented reality device) for $1,500 to early adopters and Apple is developing a smart watch, which could be released as early as this year. Microsoft is said to be working on a smart watch, too.
Apple showed a bit of fear in March during the eve of the Samsung Galaxy S IV launch. Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, told The Wall Street Journal that Android's fragmentation was "plain and simple" and that Android-powered devices are the kinds of phones that are given as free replacements to feature phones. He also said that iOS is a much more smooth experience because Apple is responsible for both the hardware and software.
While Apple clearly had a ton of problems to contend with over the year, one of the major worries that investors have is whether Apple can continue to create innovative products and keep up with the likes of Samsung/Google. Many have complained that the iPhone has only had very minimal changes over the years, and that competitors are taking greater risks as far as hardware/software design and functionality.

Apple is looking to improve, however, with recent efforts like bringing hardware and software design teams together for greater collaboration. This could mean greater, more innovative products on the way.

Source: Yahoo News

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RE: Tony's pwned
By Tony Swash on 4/23/2013 7:16:32 PM , Rating: -1
There are various narratives one can run with Apple. One says it's peaked and is now on some sort of downward path, steep or shallow depending on taste. That's possible but the evidence for that is at best inconclusive. An alternative view is that Apple accelerated out of the gates first and fastest when the mobile device revolution started and as a result experienced a period of truly spectacular growth (and as a result grew into the largest tech company in the world) and has now entered a cruise period of growth where the rate slows but growth continues.

Looking forward it's possible that Apple's days of spectacular new product category launches is past, but I personally would not bank on that as exactly the same thing was being said after the iPod and before the iPhone. But even if it is true then Apple is still set up to be the dominant and largest force in the mobile tech business for several years and possibly a decade to come. It is the only company with the whole product service stack (from silicon to retail) and a vast, committed, loyal and above all commercially active user base. Only Samsung is a worthy competitor in the mobile device markets, everyone else is pretty much irrelevant.

As evidence for the optimistic view of Apple's future consider a few data points:

Apple has won the PC wars. The Wintel base is shrinking while Apple's Mac business remains steady and now makes more money than Dell, HP, Lenovo, Asus and Acer all added together.

Apple's iOS platform is the dominant platform measured by pretty much any metric of platform utilisation one can think of.

Apple is sitting on a mountain of cash and has easily the best retail network in the tech business.

Apple makes most of the profits in the entire global handset business.

Apple's iPad business continues to grow at a very fast rate and is likely to remain easily the most popular tablet even as the tablet market moves towards the hundred of millions of units a year scale.

So personally I remain very pleased and optimistic with Apple's performance and look forward to what it does next. Obviously the iPhobe and more rabid end of the Android community have lapped up the media doom fest about Apple, which is understandable as Apple's real world success must be pretty galling for them, but they must sense that under all the media noise there isn't anything wrong with Apple's business which remains big, strong, profitable and resilient.

As I have said previously I am very interested in how the Samsung Google relationship evolves and what Android will look like in the future now that Rubin is gone and Google is reassessing it's Android strategy.

The next few years are going to be such fun to watch, reminds me of the early phase of the PC revolution, the period when the shape of the industry as it was to be for the next couple of decades began to emerge from the mist of events. I wonder if I will make it to see what comes after this revolution.

RE: Tony's pwned
By retrospooty on 4/23/2013 7:35:25 PM , Rating: 2
That would be an extremely optimistic view of things... But then again, look whos talking ;)

In general you put alot of drama and wind into Apples sails. What is likely is that Apple will "plateau" and remain extremely profitable. If they keep stagnating, it will slowly drop and if they go back to innovating it will rise... Not really rocket science. Rumours of the lower priced iPhone turned out to be true... Very likely so will the UI redesign and larger model rumors. If they do that they will probably rise.

RE: Tony's pwned
By Pirks on 4/23/2013 9:03:37 PM , Rating: 1
Rumours of the lower priced iPhone turned out to be true
What?! Where's my $100 iPhone 6? Nowhere to be found? So where are you taking this BS from then? Where can I find those cheap iPhone 5 at least?

RE: Tony's pwned
By retrospooty on 4/23/2013 9:49:32 PM , Rating: 2
"What?! Where's my $100 iPhone 6? Nowhere to be found? So where are you taking this BS from then? Where can I find those cheap iPhone 5 at least?"

Its the cheaper plastic 3.5 inch screen iPhone low priced model coming this summer numbnuts. Have you ever heard of the internet? It's full of information. You should try using it sometime.

RE: Tony's pwned
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/23/2013 9:53:55 PM , Rating: 2
"It looks like it features an all uniform plastic polycarbonate shell -- very different to the iPhone 5's sleek aluminum look, but still modern and covetable," Tactus said in a blog post. "It’s also interesting to see that the plastic shell measures in at 0.4-0.6mm thick, however the actual phone might be around 9mm thick, 120mm in height and around 62-65mm in width, which means it’s likely both taller and wider than the iPhone 4/4s!

Ah, the irony :)

RE: Tony's pwned
By paydirt on 4/24/2013 9:43:18 AM , Rating: 2
is it possible that this shell is a snap-on for consumers to choose colors, or is this an integral shell? (I do not have your Internets skillz)

RE: Tony's pwned
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/24/2013 9:45:54 AM , Rating: 2
Or perhaps, a way to change the battery now?

RE: Tony's pwned
By Pirks on 4/24/2013 2:02:46 AM , Rating: 2
Have you ever heard of the internet? It's full of information.
Ah, that "internet" of yours full of "information" like "RIM will be sold before 2013 blah blah blah bark bark bark", sounds very familiar LOL :)))))

RE: Tony's pwned
By retrospooty on 4/24/2013 2:26:57 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know why I even bother with you. But here it goes... It's not about rumors its about the supply chain. In order to build 10 million smartphones you need to order 10 million LCD's 10 million front covers 10 million back covers 10 million batteries 10 million CPU's 10 million radios etc. etc. For all of those parts you have lead times anywhere from one to five or six months, maybe more. The vendors that you order those parts from also have their own vendors that they need to order parts from so to make 10 million LCD's the LCD vendor needs 10,000,000 glass substrates 10 million connectors 10 million flex cables 10 million of every little IC. All of those parts have manufacturing and they need to ramp up production so they need to hire people to do the work as well as buy the parts. Is it doesn't get leaked because someone in the know leaked it, it gets leaked because 10,000+ people in the supply chain know it. This is why we all knew the iPhone 5 we have a four inch screen 6 months ahead of his release - because of the supply chain, it can't lie and it can't hide. Everyone involved signs NDA's so no one can come out officially, but the info is there. What is going on right now at Apple and its vendors is a supply chain in motion to build a cheaper iPhone made of plastic in multiple colors . And that's a good thing for a product line with almost zero variety. They're adding some variety. Good move, nothing else to it

RE: Tony's pwned
By theapparition on 4/24/2013 9:25:15 AM , Rating: 2
First off, why bother responding to Pirks.

And here we go again. Low powered, low priced smaller screen phone. Apple fans will crow about variety as the smartest move. What a great idea. Apple is genius.

While variety has been the staple of Android handsets forever, and yet it gets lambasted for fragmentation.

RE: Tony's pwned
By paydirt on 4/24/2013 9:45:51 AM , Rating: 2
Crucial points.

Apple also said they made a key price concession (they did not use those words) of the iPhone 4 in China in order to get them into more people's hands. They also hinted that since brand loyalty is 95% with Apple (95% repurchase rate) that this is a key long-term strategy.

RE: Tony's pwned
By Tony Swash on 4/24/13, Rating: -1
RE: Tony's pwned
By themaster08 on 4/24/2013 7:06:20 AM , Rating: 3
it's broad product and service lines.
This made me laugh.

Apple TV
iTunes/App Store

Hardly broad if you ask me.

RE: Tony's pwned
By themaster08 on 4/24/2013 7:06:53 AM , Rating: 2
I Don't know how I managed to delete iPhone from that list.

RE: Tony's pwned
By retrospooty on 4/24/2013 8:30:05 AM , Rating: 1
"You see stagnation I see a company whose growth and profits have gone from almost unprecedentedly spectacular to just plain very good"

That is because you are looking at money and I am looking at products. Not to obnoxious and point out the obvious but product comes first, product drove that profit, but its a wave, not an endless spicket. Apple had something big in 2007 - 2011, and that was a HUGE advantage over the competition. They were are the best platform our there by a longshot. They got big for that reason, but that wave of profits lags behind the tech lead time and public view. 1st you have a great product, then you build marketshare and then you get profit. If you stop, you still have momentum and marketshare, but that dwindles. The simple fact is now that Apple no longer has the superior platform and if (note I said if) they dont come out with some better products, the profit lead will dwindle as well. Simply regurgitation wont cut it any longer now that the competition has caught up. If you are looking at feature parity, the competition has far surpasses Apple.

RE: Tony's pwned
By paydirt on 4/24/2013 9:48:48 AM , Rating: 2
Who has the superior platform for the mainstream consumer?

RE: Tony's pwned
By retrospooty on 4/24/2013 11:34:06 AM , Rating: 2
I would say the one that sells 5x the amount has the "mainstream" in step pretty well. More devices, more options, more price points more sizes, qwerty, small ones, big ones and every step in between.

RE: Tony's pwned
By Scott66 on 4/26/2013 5:31:15 PM , Rating: 2
Until the makers of all these options go out of business because they are broke Only one Android smart phone maker is making money.

RE: Tony's pwned
By paydirt on 4/24/13, Rating: 0
RE: Tony's pwned
By retrospooty on 4/24/2013 11:43:55 AM , Rating: 2
"Apple created three new product categories, so they have scoreboard on everyone else. I would NEVER call Apple "incrementalists". To do so is intellectually dishonest."

You would probably get some argument that Apple "created" those categories. People were buying smartphones from Palm and RIM years before the iPhone existed, and there were tablets too... But I agree they created/jumpstarted it into what it is today. Certainly they changed those markets big-time... And they reaped the profits for that effort, big-time.

Anyhow regardless of how you define the subject mentioned above, what people are saying is that in those markets, after the intial product bump, Apple went into coast mode and incrementally updated. For example the iPhone. In 2007 it was a major improvement. It was so far ahead that it stayed ahead through 2011... In 2012 the competition caught up and in 2013 there are far FAR FAR better phones out than the iPhone5 and Apple seems to be getting passed by on the technical/feature set front in a major way and just coasting on past innovations. Agree or not, that is the argument anyhow.

RE: Tony's pwned
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/24/2013 11:44:43 AM , Rating: 1
Yea, they most certainly did not "create" those markets... LOL

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