In Q3 review, Apple plays up enterprise deployments

Summary:Notes from the conference call for the company's third quarter earnings.

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An iPad in use at the Mayo Clinic. (Photo: Apple)

This evening, Apple released its third quarter earnings. You can find those numbers here .

Shortly thereafter, the company held a conference call to explain its fiscal results. There was a strong focus on the enterprise during chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer's prepared remarks. The theme was underscored by comments from chief executive Tim Cook.

Notes from Oppenheimer's remarks, below.

iPhone

"iPhone sales were ahead of our expectations, and we were particularly pleased" with activity in both developed and emerging markets. iPhone 5 is still Apple's most popular model, but the company is still happy with iPhone 4 and 4S sales.

Apple enjoys 39 percent market share for iPhone in U.S., per comScore.

iPhone is No. 1 in Japan, per IDC.

iPhone enjoys a 93 percent loyalty rate, "significantly higher" than competition.

"Enterprise customers continue to deploy iPhone on their network," he said. Global companies such as American Airlines, Cisco, GE, Roche and SAP have deployed more than 25,000 iPhones each across their organizations.

iPhone enjoys 62.55 percent share of the U.S. commercial (business, government, education) market, per IDC.

iPhone 5 is the most frequently activated phone in the enterprise, per Good Technology.

With regard to iPhone's declining average sales price: it's down 4 percent year over year, about $27, due to "mix of the product we're selling"—that is, the mix of iPhone 5, 4S and 4—as well as "headwinds."

iPad

"Tough year-over-year comparison," Oppenheimer said, blaming channel inventory and availability of the most recent model. There was a 1.9 million unit swing. Still, Apple kept within its target range of 4 to 6 weeks.

"In every major industry around the world, companies are developing and deploying apps for iPad." Eli Lilly, Novartis, Roche, SAP have deployed 20,000 iPads each across their organizations.

iPads represent 88 percent of enterprise tablet activations, per Good Technology.

Mac

Apple is "pleased" with a 7 percent decline in quarterly sales; it ended up coming in higher than expectation, especially given the global PC market contraction. "That means Macs gained share," he said.

Customer response to the Macbook Air "has been great."

He reiterated that the Mac Pro would be available "later this year" and OS X Mavericks "in the fall."

iTunes

Customers download 800,000 TV episodes per day and 350,000 movies per day.
There are now 375,0000 iPad apps. Developers have made $11 billion so far; "half of which was earned in the last four quarters," he said.

Retail stores

$4.1 billion in quarterly revenue, same as the year-ago quarter.

Apple now has 408 retail stores. Nine new stores will come online in Q4. During Q3, Apple relocated four "that had outgrown their former space" and plan for 20 more next quarter.

Apple retail stores saw 84 million visitors; that's 16,000 per store per week.

Cash on hand

Apple had $106 billion in offshore cash during the quarter.

Outlook

"We are on track to have a very busy fall," Oppenheimer said.

***

It's at this point that Apple chief executive Tim Cook took questions; here are some of his responses:

Growth opportunities. "From a growth point of view for Apple, our key catalyst will always be new products and services..in existing categories as well as new ones."

Enterprise wins. Cook said there is "market expansion opportunity" in the enterprise. Apple enjoys more than 60 percent share for iPhone and iPad. "I think we're at the very front end of that. I think we have lots of growth opportunity."

Peak smartphone. Cook doesn't think that the high-end smartphone has hit its peak.

Tablet dominance. Cook said iPad represents 84 percent of web traffic from tablets. "If there are a lot of other tablets selling, I don't know what they're being used for…we feel really good about where we are."

Emerging markets. "We saw very strong sales in several of the emerging, or prepaid, markets." India, Turkey, Poland, Philippines were up. Strong sales in developed markets, too: U.S., Japan, U.K. "We had several regions where iPhone growth actually accelerated from the previous quarter. This is an unusual pattern for us."

China sales. "China was weaker in the quarter." Sell-through was down four percent from the year-ago quarter. Hong Kong was down "more significantly." Mainland China was up five percent, "but that is a lower growth rate than we have seen." Why? The economy there "clearly doesn't help us." In Hong Kong, an "international shopping haven," Apple "saw a more dramatic downturn." It's "not exactly clear" why. For iPad, sell-through in Greater China was up eight percent, but in Mainland China it was 30+ percent.

China developers. "From an ecosystem point of view, we continue to attract a lot of developers from China." Now there are more than half a million, up 70 percent year over year. "We're obviously paying developers quite a bit." Apple is continuing to invest in distribution, with plans to double retail stores in coming years. "I continue to believe that, in the arc of time here, China is a huge opportunity for Apple. I don't get discouraged over a 90-day cycle."

Entry-level. "The number of first-time smartphone buyers that the iPhone 4 is attracting is very, very impressive."

Components. "We certainly have no problem" procuring commodities to make products, Cook said. "Despite the very, very weak PC market," DRAM pricing has increased. NAND flash storage pricing is "fairly stable" and "following seasonal trends." LCD prices have fallen.

On Wall Street pressure. "We start with the product…if you don't start at that level, you wind up creating things that people don't want."

Topics: Apple

About

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. He is also the former editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation. He writes about business, technology and design now but used to cover finance, fashion and culture. He was an intern at Money, Men's Vogue, Popular Mechanics and the New York Daily Ne... Full Bio

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