Apple’s Really Big Show

Apple’s Q3 earnings report not only revealed some really big numbers, but some interesting new developments.

Apple’s performance this quarter leaves me to believe that, soon, we’ll have to use scientific notation or some really rare metric prefixes.

Cumulative sales. Apple has sold 313 million iPods to date. About 64 million have been iOS iPod touches, by my math. Total iPhones sold comes to 129 million and iPads amounts to 29 million to date. With 9.25 million iPads sold in Q3, it looks like Apple really can sell 40 million iPads in the next year. In fact, that may turn out to be conservative, and Tim Cook predicted “significant year-over-year growth” in the future. (You could hear him smile.) The total number of iOS devices sold to date comes to 222 million.

Money Bucket

Apple now has 225 million iTunes accounts and US$76.2 billion in cash and securities, up by $10.4 billion from the last quarter. Soon enough, Apple will have $100B in the bank. This Fiscal Year, Apple will certaily total $110B in revenues. Apple’s market cap at $400/share would be a little less than $400 billion dollars.

According to Peter Oppenheimer, Apple has quadrupled its iPhone sales in the Asia Pacific market. However, iPhone market share in Japan, UK, Germany and France is declining slightly, thanks to Android, and Tim Cook said that they’re working hard to correct that. Apple added 42 new carriers, and the iPhone is now available in over 100 countries.

The average number of retail stores open in Q3 was 327, and Apple will open 30 more by the end of this quarter. That’s one every 50 hours. Each store averages $10.8 million in sales per year. Any small businessman would love to reach that in one store.

Apple’s has paid out, to date, US$2.5B to developers.

There are now over 100,000 iPad apps. The number of apps for the other competing tablets is in the range of a few hundred. Apple has 115,000 non-Apple retail outlets.

Tim Cook declined to talk about Apple’s rumored foray into the TV business and continued to insist that the Apple TV is “still a hobby.” “We got it right last fall” when the Apple TV 2G was released. Of course, he’ll continue to insist on that until Apple pops the cork on something crazy cool and new in the TV business.

Why isn’t Macintosh market share even higher? Tim Cook gave three reasons:

  • Some cannibalization by iPads is now being seen. But Apple would rather have customers buying iPads than PCs.
  • Some customers have been waiting for Lion to buy a new Mac.
  • A year ago, Apple launched MacBook Pros. This quarter, the company launched new iMacs, and they have a much smaller percentage of Mac sales than notebooks.

Even so, Apple’s year-over-year growth in Mac sales, a number Tim Cook pays more attention to than quarterly changes, was up +14 percent.  The average for the PC market is +2.6 percent. Apple will keep selling Macs for a long time at that rate.

Apple has moved from seeking approval for iPads in the enterprise to sales penetration. Tim Cook reported that the enterprise IT people, typically very conservative, are moving faster on iPad adoption than he’s ever seen for a product.

Last quarter, Apple sold more iPads in the K-12 education market than Macs.

The Apple behemoth continues to roll, and there are no signs that it’s slowing down, especially now that Apple has a strong foothold in China. Pre-paid phone sales dominate there because China’s credit system isn’t as evolved.