Reporting profits from the last quarter, Apple made an astounding 13.1 billion dollars in net income. The per-share profit of $13.87 for the period was more than Apple earned in any full year before 2010. This was double the profit reported for the previous quarter. At that time, many Apple fans were holding out for the iPhone 4s, so sales were sluggish. When released, it resulted in sales of 37 million units in the quarter. Apple actually made more in net income than Google made in gross income during that period. The only company to ever beat that number in net income for a quarter was ExxonMobil, in 2008, when gas prices were high. With gross revenues of 46.3 billion dollars for the quarter, if that was projected over a year, Apple would make more than the Gross Domestic Product of all but the top 46 countries in the world. All this income has allowed Apple to amass 97.6 billion dollars in cash and investments-a nice “rainy day” cache. Almost certainly, they will use some of that to make acquisitions.
One conclusion that can be made, it is obvious that smartphones and tablets will be driving the majority of future sales for many companies. The desktop PC market has been very sluggish for a while, with no real signs of a major pickup in sight. The corporate demand for servers and related software will remain strong, benefiting companies like Microsoft and Intel. But as Apple has shown, there’s lots of money to be made on the consumer side that Google, Samsung, HTC, Microsoft and many others would love to dominate. But first, they’re going to have to beat Apple. The slew of new, cheap, and good android tablets could help make a dent in Apple sales. But so far, it doesn’t seem like the Amazon Kindle Fire and Barnes & Nobles Nook tablet, which have sold well, have slowed down the iPad’s momentum at all.