Apple Laughs At Recession: Record Profits on Record Sales of Macs and iPhones

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Apple has settled claims with state regulators who allege the company mishandled electronic waste.
Apple has settled claims with state regulators who allege the company mishandled electronic waste.
Photo: Thomas Dohmke

“Recession? What recession?” said Steve Jobs and co. on Monday as Apple reported record sales and near-record revenues for 2009’s fourth quarter.

While Wall Street and most of the technology industry limped along for the last three months, Apple’s fourth quarter revenues rose to a whopping $9.87 billion — the second best quarter ever after last Christmas.

Apple sold a record 3.05 million Macs during the quarter (17% year-on-year increase); 10.2 million iPods (down 8%); and 7.4 million iPhones (up 7%).

“We are thrilled to have sold more Macs and iPhones than in any previous quarter,” said Steve Jobs in a statement. “We’ve got a very strong lineup for the holiday season and some really great new products in the pipeline for 2010.”

The results do not reflect the new accounting rules that recently went into effect allowing Apple to realize iPhone and Apple TV sales, which are currently spread over two years. If these sales were taken into account for the quarter, revenue would have been $12.25 billion, Apple said.

The company is a runaway profit machine. Gross margins were up to an unbelievable 36.6%, which rocketed profits 46% to $1.67 billion for the quarter. Yeah, that’s a lot of cash. Companies like Dell and HP are lucky if they can squeeze 5% profits out of their products.