Apple Announces Record Revenue but Flat Profit

Apple has recorded record revenue but dire profit margins for its performance during 2012's fourth quarter.

The company sold 47.8 million iPhones during the quarter, an increase from the 37 million it sold during the fourth quarter of 2011. Comparatively, it sold 26.9 million iPhones during the third quarter of 2012. Revenue increased by 18 percent to $54.5 billion, but net profit remained unchanged from a year: the Cupertino firm generated $13.1 billion.

Apple shares dropped in after-hours trading, which has been attributed to the unimpressive sales of the iPhone even after the launch of the iPhone 5. It was previously expected to sell upwards of 50 million units. Following the earnings report, the firm's shares dropped by 10 percent.

Apple sold 22.9 million iPad units, a jump from the 15.4 million it sold during the same time period in 2011 and 14 million from the previous quarter. It sold around 1.7 million iPad units per week, an increase when compared to the 1.1 million sold per week the previous year. Although it didn't reveal specific sales figures pertaining to the iPad Mini, it stressed that it's been a "tremendous hit."

Mac sales decreased from 5.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 to 4.1 million during 2012's Q4. Apple said the drop is due to supply constraints with the new iMacs. Sales of the iPod, meanwhile, dropped from 15.4 million in 2011 to 12.7 million during Q4, 2012.

"We're thrilled with record revenue of over $54bn and sales of over 75 million iOS devices in a single quarter," said Apple CEO Tim Cook. "We're very confident in our product pipeline as we continue to focus on innovation and making the best products in the world."

“We’re pleased to have generated over $23 billion in cash flow from operations during the quarter,” said Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer. "We established new all-time quarterly records for iPhone and iPad sales, significantly broadened our ecosystem, and generated Apple’s highest quarterly revenue ever.”


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