Apple By the Numbers: Laptops Up Sequentially, iPod Off

| Reports

Before each quarteris earnings conference call, Apple provides a breakdown of its sales for the previous financial quarter. This time, an examination of the tables shows that, while iPod sales were up dramatically on a year-over-year basis, they were down slightly compared to the previous quarter. In addition, while desktop Mac sales were down both sequentially and year-over-year, laptop Mac sales were up dramatically in both comparisons.

In its press release, Apple touted a 32% jump in iPod units shipped compared to the year-ago quarter, which translated into a 36% revenue increase. However, compared to its second fiscal quarter this year, when the company shipped 8.526 million units for US$1.714 billion, the 8.111 million iPods sold in the third quarter, for $1.497 billion, was a 5% drop in units and 13% down in revenue.

Itis hard to say what drove the sequential drop. While the previous quarter featured so-called "dads and grads" gift-giving for Fatheris Day and high school and college graduations, the iPod line hasnit seen a new model released this year, save the 1GB iPod nano. With many people anticipating more robust video iPods and maybe even a redesigned iPod nano, itis possible consumers are holding off in anticipation of being able to get better iPods, which could have off-set gift-giving.

All of Appleis other non-computer categories were down sequentially too. Other Music Related Products and Services, which includes iTunes Music Store sales, iPod services, and Apple-branded and third-party iPod accessories, was off 6% at $457 million, compared to $485 million last quarter. Compared to last year, however, it was up 90%. Peripherals and Other Hardware was down 6% sequentially and 11% year-over-year, and Software, Service and Other Sales dropped 3% compared to last quarter and 9% versus the year-ago period.

However, a dramatic jump in laptop sales went a long way toward helping Apple eke out a small gain over the previous quarteris $4.359 billion in revenue. The company shipped 798,000 portables last quarter, totaling $1.161 billion in revenue, numbers that were up 60% and 57%, respectively, sequentially, and up 61% and 61% year-over-year. With the MacBook Pro fully available last quarter and the Intel-based iBook successor, dubbed MacBook, shipping in mid-May, Apple clearly reaped the benefits of the pent-up demand for both machines.

On the desktop side, though, Apple is likely still dealing with the fact that many professional users are waiting for new Power Macs and Xserves with Intel processors, which are widely expected to be introduced next month at the Worldwide Developers Conference. The company shipped 529,000 desktops, for $705 million in revenue, last quarter, down 14% and 15%, respectively, since the previous quarter and down 23% and 17% compared to the same period a year ago. Obviously, the availability of Intel-based Mac mini and iMac computers wasnit enough to off-set the pro user decline.

Unfortunately, Apple no longer breaks out computer sales according to specific models, so thereis no way to know for certain how particular machines sold last quarter.

The companyis stores were a final bright spot. There, the company earned $715 million, up 12% sequentially and up 29% year-over-year. Apple sold 216,000 computers at its stores, a 40% leap since the previous quarter and 50% over the year-ago period.

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