Sure, it was one of the busiest weeks on the tech earnings calendar, but despite a crush of important indicators about the health of the industry, all anyone seems to care about was that famously wayward iPhone, which caused such a stir earlier in the week.
The media and industry analysts gathered at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, on Thursday got a heavy dose of commentary from CEO Steve Jobs on a range of subjects, representing probably his biggest mouthful in a single setting since returning from medical leave last summer.
Apple’s iPhone launched in China last Friday with plenty of fanfare, but the sales numbers so far appear a little light. China Unicom, the iPhone’s carrier in the country, said Tuesday it has signed up 5,000 iPhone subscribers since the launch, below what some analysts were expecting.
Tongues are still wagging about Apple’s blowout quarter, which saw the company brush past Wall Street forecasts, sending its shares north of $200. But as Wall Street waited breathlessly for the latest iPhone numbers, it was the company’s Mac line that stole the headlines, posting blockbuster 17 percent unit growth.
Setting aside some relatively impressive Mac sales, Apple’s iPhone was the true star of the company’s earnings drama on Tuesday–though the the device might be a little tough for some folks to to get their hands on in the near term.******Apple said it can’t meet current demand for the iPhone 3GS, which launched last month. The 3GS is available in 18 countries and is being rolled out this summer to another 80-plus countries.******Overall, the company sold 5.2 million iPhones in the June quarter, ahead of many analysts estimates. That total includes sales of the reduced-price $99 iPhone 3G.******Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said “the iPhone 3GS is constrained in virtually every country we’re shipping it in. So the demand has been very robust.”******He later added: “I don’t want to predict today when supply and demand will balance. I know that it will not balance in the short-term. And I don’t want to give a prediction because as you can guess, it’s very difficult to gauge the demand without having the supply there to find out what it is… In terms of affecting the country roll out, I believe the vast majority of the countries that we are selling the 3G in will be selling a 3GS by the end of the fiscal quarter. So it may move the date by a few weeks here or there.”******Cook also delivered some interesting factoids on iPhone adoption by large corporations. He said close to 20 percent of the Fortune 100 have bought at least 10,000 units or more.******But Cook stuck to the company line on AT&T, the exclusive iPhone carrier in the U.S. (“I think it’s an excellent relationship and we’re very happy with it”), and provided no new details on when the iPhone might launch in China.
(Updated to reflect that Apple was referring to application downloads, not application sales. Many iPhone apps are free.)
Apple Inc impressed the tech world with the rapid take off of its applications store, announcing on April 24th that it had sold 1 billion apps downloads in just 9 months to users of its iPhone and its iPod Touch.
Haven’t got your hands on Apple’s new iPhone 3GS yet? In certain parts of the U.S., you may have to wait just a bit longer. Apple says retail stores in some states (such as Utah, Oregon, Alabama) and certain cities are sold out of the new device, which went on sale on June 19.
Braving a downpour at Apple’s New York flagship store in midtown, three college students were already lined up waiting to be first to nab the new iPhone 3GS when it goes on sale on Friday.******Oddly enough, none of the trio planned to buy an IPhone: two already had the iPhone 3G, and the other was saving up for a Palm Pre. Hunkered under broad umbrellas graciously supplied by Apple, they were holding a place for another buddy, Sidney Sanmartine — who was still at work. He owned the original iPhone from 2007, and is eligible for the lower priced upgrade.******”It’s more evolutionary than revolutionary,” said Matt Dodd, 18. “But for the kid who’s getting it, it’s a big deal — he’s going from 2G to 3G.”******Perhaps by 7 a.m. Friday, the line will look as long (and dry) as it did about a year ago when the iPhone 3G debuted. Until then, Keith Hobin, the lone rain-soaked student/shopper left when his two buddies took a break, seems pretty upbeat. (Only 15 hours to go…)******