Apple earns record amounts, defends its innovation

"We have zero issue coming up with things."

When will the Apple fall? Not yet - not by a long shot. Another record quarter means Apple's obscene cash pile - Apple's war chest, if you like - has swollen to $159bn. What can't it buy?

A record 51m iPhone sales accounted for nearly half of the company's flabbergasting $57.6bn revenue for the three months ending 28th December. That's more than in the same period last year, and the same was true of iPad sales (up to 26m) and Mac sales (up to 4.8m). IPod sales slumped a little to 6m, but who cares?

The net result - the net profit: $13.1bn.

Success stories from games on the App Store include NaturalMotion's Clusmy Ninja, which was downloaded 10m times in its first week, and Plants Versus Zombies 2, which was EA Pop Cap's biggest launch on iOS with 16m downloads in five days.

apple2

"Yep, here it is, the Apple 2 Air. And let me tell you it just slips in your satchel like a sandwich - you won't feel a thing. I can't feel a thing! It's like holding a kitten."

But when is Apple going to surprise us again, do something new?

"I would just say, innovation is deeply embedded in everybody here ..." answered Tim Cook, Apple CEO, during the company's earnings call (transcript on Seeking Alpha). "We have zero issue coming up with things we want to do that we think we can disrupt in a major way.

"The challenge is always to focus to the very few that deserve all of our energy. And we've always done that, and we're continuing to do that."

Cook said innovation at the company had "never been stronger". "I'm very confident with the work that's going on, and I think our customers are going to love what we're going to do."

Apple's Luca Maestri (vice president and corporate controller), said the company invests "heavily" in research and development, "in areas that are visible to all of you today, but also in areas that are not visible, which we're very excited about".

"... we're working on things that you can't see today," added Cook.

Elsewhere in the call, Apple noted that this week is the Macintosh's 30th birthday.

"Not only was the Macintosh a breakthrough for the personal computer, it was also a promise that the power of technology taken from the few, and put in the hands of everyone, could change the world," spouted Apple number-two, Peter Oppenheimer.

"Over the past 30 years, people have done extraordinary things with the Mac, and with the Apple products it inspired.

"Happy Birthday, Mac. Imagine what we can accomplish in the next 30 years."

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