Return of the Mac as Apple happy with results

20 Jul 2006

Third-quarter results from Apple show that the company made a profit of US$472m on revenues of US$4.37bn — the second highest quarterly figures in its history.

Year-over-year revenue growth was 24pc, said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s chief financial officer. “Looking ahead to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006, we expect revenue of about US$4.5-US$4.6bn,” he added. Sales outside the US accounted for 39pc of revenue in the quarter, Apple reported.

Apple shipped 1,327,000 Macintosh computers and 8,111,000 iPod digital music players during the second three months of this year. The Mac segment grew 12pc and iPod shipments were up by 32pc on the same period last year. Macs were responsible for 55pc of revenue for the quarter.

Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, said he was “thrilled” with the performance of the Mac business and noted that 75pc of the machines sold in the quarter were based on Intel chips, following Apple’s controversial decision to switch from PowerPC processors last year.

In many recent quarters, the computer sector — ironically the core of Apple’s traditional business — had been the poor relation in comparison to the iPod. Now, some analysts were reported as saying that the Mac business is starting to accelerate.

According to Jobs, the iPod now has more than a 75pc share of the US digital music player market. He also alluded to upcoming versions of the product, saying: “We are extremely excited about future iPod products in our pipeline.” The usual rumour mill — seldom inactive where Apple is concerned — suggests that a redesigned iPod Nano is on the cards, as well as a possible move towards allowing rented movies to be downloaded to the player.

By Gordon Smith