Apple announced yesterday that it has enjoyed its best fourth quarter ever with record profits and revenue growth during a 3-month period which saw a surge is sales of the iPad and the iPhone 4.
The Cupertino-based company said that it sold almost twice the amount of iPhones this quarter, 14.1 million units, compared to the year before while consumers snapped 4.2 million iPads almost as soon as they came on the shelves, causing significant supply strain.
Sales of the company's more traditional product range, the Apple Mac, rose by 27 percent to 3.9 million although that of its other successful product family, the iPod, continue its decline with 9.1 million units sold in the last quarter.
But while Apple's revenues shot up by 67 per cent to $20.34 billion, gross margins - the overall percentage profit - dropped from 36.9 per cent from 41.8 per cent, a hint that even Apple is making concessions to a penny-pinching market.
Ironically, the company's shares fell by five per cent in pre-market transactions as traders although it closed yesterday at $318, near its one year high of $319, a share price that boosts the company's market capitalisation to more than $290 billion, far ahead of Microsoft's $223 billion.