It was an overwhelmingly numbery week this week, as Q1 financials deluged the Informer’s inbox. Over the weekend the mainstream press were all aflutter about the fact that Apple was going to report a drop in quarterly profits. This duly happened, but fluctuations are relative and when your profits are plummeting all the way to $9.5bn for the quarter, it’s hardly a catastrophe.
Apple’s quarterly profits took a dip last week and, so universally is the company renowned, even my dad asked me if the firm’s latest numbers heralded the beginning of the end.
The CEO of Swedish mobile operator Tele2 has been quoted by a Swedish business newspaper voicing frustration at his company’s dealings with Apple.
Device giant Apple has posted its first quarterly drop in profit in ten years, with $9.5bn 2Q13 (January to March) net profit marking a more than 18 per cent decline on the $11.6bn generated in 2Q12. Quarterly revenue grew year on year however, to $43.6bn from $39.2bn a year ago. Gross margin was 37.5 per cent compared to 47.4 per cent in 2Q12.
UK operator EE has defended Apple’s policy of preventing mobile operators from offering the iPhone 5 as an LTE device until it has tested the performance of their LTE networks. The operator launched its 4G network in September 2012, with the iPhone available at launch as an LTE device.
The number of tablets sold globally will surpass the number of PCs sold by 2017, according to analyst firm Gartner. Sales of Android smartphones are also expected to triple between 2012 and 2017, the firm forecasted.
In a bid to revitalise its recently acquired handset business, Google has called on Apple’s former chief evangelist Guy Kawasaki to act as an advisor at Motorola Mobility. Kawasaki’s role at the firm will be focused on product design, user interface, marketing and social media.
According to the latest research from Informa Telecoms & Media, sales staff at leading UK retailers are more likely to recommend a Samsung device ahead of an Apple one despite Apple’s widespread marketing and advertising campaigns.
Today the Informer feels like he has woken up in a parallel universe; one in which Apple is being vilified for its quarterly financial performance, while Nokia recorded an actual profit.
Apple will next week add another 36 networks to the selection of carriers that are permitted to offer the iPhone 5 with LTE support enabled. Tim Cook, CEO of the handset vendor, made the revelation as part of the company’s earnings call earlier this week. However, the expanded list does not extend to carriers in parts of Asia and Russia.
Despite posting another quarter of sustained growth in sales, Apple’s profit remained flat in the first quarter of 2013 highlighting competitive pressure and concerns over innovation.
In a bid to compete with its smartphone rivals in the largest mobile market in the world, Apple has started offering instalment plans for its products in China, the first OEM in the country to do so when selling its own products directly. According to reports, the company has taken this step because it has been struggling to shift its products, which are typically more expensive than those of its competitors. Regardless of the near-term competitive environment Apple faces in China the instalment plans are a bold and innovative way for Apple to make the iPhone more attractive to consumers who are used to buying smartphones from local rivals such as ZTE for much less.
UK fixed line incumbent BT is looking to take a slice of mobile operators’ revenues with an app that it has launched today. The BT SmartTalk app allows customers to make calls over a data connection from their iPhones,in a similar way to over-the-top solutions providers such as Skype and Viber, billed at the same rates that they are charged for calls from their BT landlines.
They sold out of wifi-enabled iPad mini tablets at 8.30am this morning at the flagship Apple store in Regent Street, London. It has been a similar story every day this week. The nice Apple lady in the shop told me that the queues were now starting at around 6.00am.
It’s a lament often made by those at the heady heights of their careers, but who is it tougher on: the bright stars or the team they work with?
The revelation that Apple is vetting operators’ LTE networks focused the industry once more on the power struggle between carriers and leading device vendors.
China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator will launch LTE in Hong Kong on 18 December, according to reports. Hong Kong is already well served for LTE with all four other operators, Hutchison, PCCW and CSL and CMHK, offering 4G services. The move however, has larger significance in that it indicates that China Mobile is readying a wider TD-LTE–based launch in mainland China.
Apple’s decision to vet operators’ networks for LTE performance before allowing the iPhone 5 to function as an LTE device is likely to hit smaller, unaffiliated operators hardest, according to Dimitris Mavrakis, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.
Back in October a chum of the Informer’s from one of the big infrastructure vendors told him that Apple was auditing LTE networks before allowing operators to offer the iPhone 5 as an LTE device. The Informer made a few calls to people in the know and was told the story was true, although Apple maintained a stony silence and nobody else, operator or vendor, would go on the record. Until now.
Apple is not allowing mobile operators to offer the iPhone 5 as an LTE device unless they pass the Californian vendor’s own, independent tests for LTE network performance, Swisscom has confirmed.