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ATPM 18.02
February 2012



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by Robert Paul Leitao,

Welcome to the February issue of About This Particular Macintosh! We begin this month with a brief look at Apple’s results for the December quarter. For those of us who use Apple products, the results reveal that we have a lot more company. In this one quarter, around 60 million iOS devices were sold.

Apple’s December Quarter Results

For the 14-week period ended December 31, 2011, Apple reported record revenue of $46.33 billion and record earnings per share of $13.87. Revenue rose 73%, and earnings per share rose 116% over the prior-year results.

In response to the outstanding December quarter performance, Apple’s market capitalization (the sum value of the company’s outstanding shares) catapulted to over $410 billion, making Apple the most highly valued company in the land. At press time, Apple’s market capitalization is about $417 billion versus about $245 billion for Microsoft and $221 billion for IBM. Apple’s first big rival was IBM. Apple’s second big rival was Microsoft. Within the next year, Apple’s value may equal or exceed the value of the company’s two former rivals combined. Apple’s biggest rival today does not have a corporate name. Apple now competes with capacity constraints to meet global demand for the company’s popular products.

To put this level of success in perspective, Apple’s December quarter revenue of $46.33 billion was greater than the company’s total annual revenue of $42.905 billion in the fiscal year that ended in September 2009. Over a three-year period ending this September, Apple will grow four times in size.

The iPhone

Despite early concerns that the iPhone 4S did not represent a conspicuous change in the technology consumers might have expected in the latest iPhone refresh, iPhone unit sales rose 128% to over 37 million units in the December quarter. Siri, Apple’s “intelligent personal assistant,” has become a big hit among iPhone 4S handset owners. Powered by the A5 chip, the iPhone 4S handset was the clear winner among the smartphone choices available to US consumers in the period.

The Macintosh

In the December quarter, Apple sold nearly 5.2 million Macintosh personal computers. For the second consecutive quarter, Apple’s global network of retail stores sold well over 1 million Macs with 50% of sales through the stores to customers new to the Macintosh platform. The Mac’s 26% unit sales gain defied the slowing pace of global PC sales.

The iPad

The iPad 2’s biggest competition in the December came not from another tablet-style device. The iPad’s competition was customer expectations of a late winter/early spring launch of the much anticipated iPad 3. In the quarter, Apple sold over 15.4 million iPads with year-over-year sales growth of 111%. At this time, the global sales potential of the iPad cannot be reasonably determined.

Looking Beyond the Numbers

Numbers can tell a story. But the big story of Apple’s success is how the company’s approach to product innovation has changed the way we communicate with one another and the ways in which we access news and information from around the world.

Although Apple is now among the world’s largest and most successful enterprises, the company’s success is due to the millions of people who use Apple products each and every day. At ATPM, we chronicle the “personal computing experience.” We’d like to hear how Apple-branded devices have enhanced your computing life. Success comes in different forms and sizes. How are Apple products helping you succeed each day in the business of life? Please send your story to

Our February issue includes:

MacMuser: The Best and Worst Christmas Presents

This month, Mark Tennent muses the Galaxy Tab, hard drive warranties, and Baconnaise.

PEBKAC: The Normals’ View of Apple and the iPhone

Tech-heads should realize that their view of Apple and the iPhone is very different from that of normal folks.

Segments: An Achievable Dream

Dave Trautman is back with more tales of his Macintosh computing experience.

Segments: Digital > Analog > Digital

A plea to keep QR codes on paper where they belong.

Segments: Smart Move?

I want iPhone.

How To: Create Your Own iPhone Ringtones

Custom iPhone ringtones do not require paying Apple a dollar each, or buying specialized software to do the job. You probably already have all the software necessary to make them yourself.

Desktop Pictures: From ATPM Readers

Four ATPM readers provided this month’s photos.

The Spinning Beachball

In a paperless society, dogs still eat homework.

Review: The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption

Just as there is junk food, there is junk information. Learn how to resist it.

Review: MacJournal 6.0

David Ozab has high marks for this powerful, flexible, and easy-to-use journaling environment.

Also in This Series

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