Later on today in the US, Apple will announce its latest set of financial figures. They are expected to show that for the quarter ending 20 September 2014 the company achieved the remarkable and (once again) record-breaking sum of $40 billion in sales revenues. Gross profit margins are expected to be 37 per cent or 38 per cent.
Think about it. If forecasts are right (and Wall Street analysts are standing by their estimates), Apple will have made forty billion bucks in just twelve weeks. It is an incredible figure, indeed it is such an incredible figure that one simply has to wonder how much longer such-record-breaking growth can continue at that sort of rate.
A major factor in propelling Apple to its current heights has been intense demand for the new iPhone models, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, that hit the market just about a month ago, back on September 19. According to word from on high, that is to say from Tim Cook, the anointed successor to the late and Sainted Steven J, the two new iPhones have "set a new high-water mark" for sales.
Analysts believe the apostle and have estimated that the company sold 38 million iPhones in the quarter to the end of September. That's an astonishing 12 per cent increase on the 34 million iPhones Apple sold in the quarter ended September 30, 2013.
So with the revenues to be announced today for the latest quarter expected to be within touching distance of $40 billion Apple’s turnover this year will be at the $181 billion mark compared to $171 billion last year.
Although iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were on sale only for the last ten days of the September quarter, consumers bought 10 million of them in the first weekend!
Speaking during the latest iPad launch last week, Tim Cook said. “These iPhones have become the fastest-selling iPhones in history. And the first 30 days we have set a new high-water mark for the most orders taken. And I don’t mean by a little. By a lot, a whole lot.”
And so Apple's star continues to rise at a trajectory and rate that must eventually slow down and plateau. And there are some indications that this could happen given that demand for the iPad isn't quite what it was. Indications are that 13 million were sold in the quarter to September 30, down a million on the same quarter last year. If that does turn out to be the case it will be the third consecutive quarter that Apple will have reported a fall-off in sales of the devices.
Trends and figures indicate that while consumers are ever-keen to upgrade to the latest iPhone, they are also prepared and even content to hang on to their 'old' iPad for much longer before upgrading or, heresy of heresies, are willing to take a punt and go for another tablet device from the likes of Samsung or other manufacturers - but not the Kindle Fire though as that is already a burnt-out wreck drifting in the darkness.
That said, the iPad Air 2, the first Apple tablet with a fingerprint scanner, goes on sale in the US this very week. Forecasts are that Apple will shift 24 million of them in the run-up to Christmas and the New Year. If that is correct, within a quarter the iPad will have bounced-back with a vengeance. Bloomberg, acting as a sort of collator and aggregator of all analyst projections says Apple's sales revenues foe the quarter ending on December 31m 2014 will be some $64 billion. Indeed Apple's prospects seem so strong that some analysts say that Apple's share price is set to rise again, from its current $98 to $114.
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