Apple 2010 Q4 Results: 14.1M iPhone Sold, Jobs Blasts RIM


Today Apple announced their 2010 Q4 fiscal earnings via their regular conference call. The results of their most recent quarter are staggering. Here’s a breakdown of their financial numbers:

  • Record revenue of $20.34 billion (year ago quarter: $12.21 billion)
  • Net quarterly profit: $4.31 billion (year ago quater: $2.53 billion)
  • International sales accounted for 57% of Q4 revenue.

Apple Products Sold

  • 3.89 million Macs (27% increase over year ago quarter)
  • 14.1 million iPhones (91% increase over year ago quarter)
  • 9.05 million iPods (11% decline over year ago quarter)
  • 4.19 million iPads

Special Surprise Guest at the Earnings Call: Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs happened to participate in the conference call, to the surprise of everyone. In his talks he mentions the fragmented state of Android devices, and the need for RIM to revamp its line up to keep up with Apple and the industry.

Here is his attack on RIM’s future:

First, let me discuss iPhone. We sold 14.1 million iPhones in the quarter, which represents a 91 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter, and was well ahead of IDC’s latest published estimate of 64 percent growth for the global smartphone market in the September quarter. And it handily beats RIM’s 12.1 million BlackBerrys sold, in their most recent quarter ending in August. We’ve now passed RIM. And I don’t see them catching up to us in the foreseeable future.

They must look beyond their area of strength and comfort, into the unfamiliar territory of trying to become a software platform company. I think it’s going to be a challenge for them, to create a competitive platform, and to convince developers to create apps for yet a third software platform after iOS and Android. With 300,000 apps on Apple’s App Store, RIM has a high mountain ahead of them to climb.

Below is the audio stream of Steve’s thoughts–in particular his “go for the jugular” rant about Android:

From the official Apple press release:

“We are blown away to report over $20 billion in revenue and over $4 billion in after-tax earnings—both all-time records for Apple,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “iPhone sales of 14.1 million were up 91 percent year-over-year, handily beating the 12.1 million phones RIM sold in their most recent quarter. We still have a few surprises left for the remainder of this calendar year.”

It was interesting Apple jabbed RIM in their press statement about outselling Blackberrys. What continues to amaze me is how Apple is able to sell 14.1 million iPhones that are based on one or two models, whereas RIM achieved their sales through massive discounts and BOGO (buy one get one free) offers. RIM really needs to step up before they become the “Avro Arrow” of the smartphone industry.

Steve’s rant about Android being fragmented and a mess is absolutely correct. His example of Tweetdeck (not twitterdeck) having to deal with over 244 different Android handsets and over 100 versions of Android OS–illustrates how the platform can be more challenging compared to iOS.

One of the most important points to note is when Steve mentioned “We still have a few surprises left for the remainder of this calendar year.” Refreshed MacBook Air on Wednesday? CDMA iPhone 4?

What do you think of Apple’s Q4 earnings and Steve Jobs’ Android rant?

For a full transcript of earnings call, check it out at PC Mag.

[Apple PR, WSJ]


  • Demosthenesx

    Did they talk about the impact of the free case program on the quarter’s numbers? I haven’t seen it mentioned in any of the news reports, but it seems to me that Apple’s performance is especially impressive given the number of cases they gave away…

  • The case giveaway at the end of the day is a drop in a bucket towards their
    revenue. Apple generated 5.7 billion in CASH this quarter. Sick.

  • Don

    Imagine the number of Iphones they could have sold if they were able to keep up with demand!

  • That was one of the issues…they couldn’t keep up with demand!

  • Anonymous

    They sold 14.1 million iPhones.
    Let’s just assume that they were all iPhone 4’s and not 3GS and that everyone who purchased an iPhone 4 got a free case with an estimated retail cost of about $30.
    14.1 million X $30 = $423 million dollars.

    Considering that Apple generated well over $4 billion in profit… $423 million to them? Not much…. They had enough cash to do a full blown recall a few weeks after launch and still make a profit.

  • BM

    I think you need to re check those numbers. A case might cost you $30 to buy, but Apple will only pay a few dollars (at most) to make it or buy it in huge quantities.

    I would say they most likely spent no more than $30 million on the cases. Also… not everyone took part in the program. I wasn’t interested in their cases and bought my own.

  • Sfdsdf

    the case takes less than 50 cents to manufacture, however there are shipping and handling costs.

  • woozlewuzzle

    Well, its just Steve Jobs being Steve Jobs I guess. Although I’m extremely pleased about my Samsung i9000 over the iPhone 4. Just compared my Samsung against iPhone 4 at the Apple store and I gotta say that the iPhone feels cramped. What I mean with that is that its over simplified and it just feels like there’s nothing to do. I mean sure there are tons of apps but the whole UI just seems too little. Cant really explain it properly.

  • ward09

    In my opinion 14.1 m iPhones over 12.1 m BlackBerrys is not “handily” beating them – it’s a victory, but not a slaughter. 12.1 m devices sold in a quarter is a position that a lot of manufacturers / platforms would like to be in.

    It’s always nice to be number 1, but there is a lot of room in the market for more that one successful platform.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that Steve Jobs is a jerk. That said, I love my iPhone 4, and my 3G before it. Apple has some of the best products on the market, but I’d like them taken down a notch or two on the arrogance-scale.

  • Part of RIM’s units sold include buy one get one free offers.

  • Robe_perry

    but did rim increase sales of BB by 91 percent, and did you ever hear of massive line ups for blackberrys, or no blackberrys in stock for 3-4 weeks…..the iphone is a double barrel shit machine gun, and jobs is using it, and all the iphone bashing thats been going on since it the iphone 4 came out, shhhhhhhhhhit i’d be out for blood too

  • ward09

    True, but those phones are still out there, and help make BlackBerry’s OS viable for app developers. Apple and the iPhone are clearly on the upswing at the expense of BlackBerry, but BB is far from dead. They may not be the smartphone industry leader anymore, but there is plenty of room for them to be successful in the market.

  • I’ve been waiting for RIM to prove me wrong and churn out something decent.

    Latest device is the Torch, with same screen as the Storm. Seriously?

    Playbook announcement was lame, specs only, no working demo. It doesn’t exist. It’s vaporware.

    Sure, RIM has their place with business, but now there are many more enterprise solutions other than a BB.

  • ward09

    I agree with everything you point out about recent BlackBerrys, I don’t like their products at all, but they still moved 12.1 m phones last quarter. Those are numbers that Palm and Nokia would kill for. I’m sure it will be a fight for them to keep the ground they still have against Apple, Android, and now Windows Phone, but they’re still one of the big boys. I simpley think Jobs is condecending.

  • ward09

    …also, disclaimer: I accidently “Liked” my own original post that was meant for your last post Gary.

  • Sure you did! 😉

  • love him or hate him Steve is a smart guy. You know how hard it would be for a developer to deal with so much versions of andriod? He is right, he’s got a good point there.

  • “They must look beyond their area of strength and comfort, into the unfamiliar territory”
    This is the hard line, chalked full of truth. If RIM is offended by this, or posts a letter of defence, it just goes to show that truth hurts.

    As always… Well said Steve Jobs.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed…would LOVE to see Mr. Jobs taken down a few pegs. He may have numerous valid points but it’s in the way he delivers said points that make him a classless, arrogant prick.

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