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Apple sees quarterly sales top $54.5bn despite slump in Mac demand

24 Jan 2013
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Apple has posted its best-ever quarterly revenues as the company continues to log strong hardware sales.

The company said revenues for its final sales quarter of 2012 were $54.5bn, up 18 percent on the year-ago quarter, as several of its hardware units posted record sales.

Apple sold 47.8 million iPhones and 22.9 million iPads in the quarter, record figures for both devices and significant increases from the same period last year.

Profits, however, were flat, at $13.1bn.

Chief executive Tim Cook said Apple had struggled to keep up with demand throughout the quarter. Cook noted that supplies of the iPhone, iPad and iMac were all considered to be constrained for some or all of the quarter.

On a call with press and analysts, Cook dismissed rumours that it was cancelling orders for new hardware shipments out of fear of slowing sales. Reports recently surfaced that Apple had cut orders of display hardware.

"I would suggest it is good to to question the accuracy of any kind of rumour about our build plans," Cook said.

"Even if a particular data point were factual, it would be impossible to determine what it meant for our overall business because our supply chain is very complex."

Not every unit was up for Apple, however. The company moved just 4.1 million Macs, down from 5.2 million in 2011 and Apple expects the downturn to continue in the coming months.

Apple is not the only company to see its PC unit under perform. Sales have been down across the board for the PC market. Apple executives, however, see the drop as an opportunity to gain share from the Windows world by converting Windows users to iOS tablets.

"On iPad, we have the mother of all opportunities because the Windows market is much, much larger than the Mac market," Cook explained.

IDC tablet research director Tom Mainelli told V3 that Apple could be in position to pick up customers as consumers and businesses put money once exclusively earmarked for PC spending into tablet and handset purchases.

"Ultimately, they would have liked to ship more Macs, but in the end as long as they are selling an Apple product they feel it is a win for them," Mainelli explained.

"Some of the issues that the PC market is having are a lot more complicated than straight up cannibalisation, but there is certainly both usage cannibalisation and there's the idea of consumer spending."

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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