Yesterday was Apple's financial conference call, and it didn't disappoint. Apple blew past analysts' expectations, announcing that 6.89 million iPhones were sold last quarter, 50% higher than consensus analysts' estimates.
That was more than what RIM sold in the same quarter. For good reason too. The iPhone is a triumph of interface design and feature integration (including the iPod). The Blackberries, not so much. Research In Motion is releasing its much hyped Blackberry Storm this quarter to compete with the iPhone, but I'm not convinced it will rise above the mediocrity that has characterized RIM hardware and software up until now. Perhaps Jim Balsillie should focus more on RIM's products than on acquiring a hockey team.
Steve Jobs went on to brag that in terms of revenue, Apple is now third behind Nokia and Samsung. Apple has already bested the ailing Sony Ericsson.
Apple still has no debt, and has about $25 billion in cash. That means that for every single share of AAPL out there, Apple has $28 sitting in the bank. To put it another way, about 30% of Apple's market capitalization at yesterday's close of $91.49 was in cash. And to put it yet another way, Apple could buy Dell in cash today, as Dell's market capitalization is under $25 billion. Maybe it's time to shut down Dell?
Guidance for the following quarter was unusually vague, as Apple provided a very wide range of possible outcomes, all conservative. The after hours market didn't seem to mind though, as AAPL was up to over $103 at one point, before settling back to a little over $97 at market open today.