Apple's first quarter, by the numbers

On Wednesday, Apple capped off its Macworld Conference & Expo San Francisco announcements with the news that its first quarter revenue and profits reached heights previously unseen by the company. As expected, iPod sales led the way with 4.58 million units sold, a 127 percent increase over the fourth quarter of Apple's 2004 fiscal year and a 525 percent jump from the same quarter a year ago. That translated into $1.211 billion in revenue, by far the company's best product segment and a number that grew 126 percent sequentially, or since the previous quarter, and 373 percent year-over-year, or when compared to the same quarter a year ago.

The CPUs

On the CPU front, Apple rebounded from its moribund fourth quarter '04 numbers by shipping 1.046 million units, totaling $1.605 billion in revenue. Those numbers were up between 25 and 30 percent sequentially and year-over-year. The iMac G5, which was hampered by limited processor availability three months ago, sold well.

With the pipeline unclogged, the iMac/eMac numbers, which are rolled together by Apple, came out on top with 456,000 units shipped this quarter for $620 million in revenue. That translated into robust growth: shipments were up 99 percent sequentially and 101 percent year-over-year while revenue jumped 187 and 147 percent, respectively. iBook sales, which came in first last quarter, took the runner-up position this time with 271,000 laptops shipped and $297 million in sales. Sequentially, units and revenue were up 14 and 16 percent while the year-over-year numbers increased 35 and 34 percent, respectively.

Power Mac sales, which also include the Xserve, came in third with 167,000 units shipped and $381 million in revenue. Sequentially, this line managed unit and revenue increases of 7 and 12 percent, but year-over-year, computers and sales were down 19 and 4 percent. However, high sticker prices made Power Mac and Xserve sales the second-highest among Apple's four CPU categories. Apple noted during its earnings call that a backlog of 2.5GHz Power Mac G5 orders was on the books as the first quarter ended, which hampered the results.

PowerBook numbers lagged in fourth place, a reflection of the fact that the pro laptops haven't been refreshed since last April. 152,000 units were shipped last quarter for $307 million in sales, numbers that were down 29 and 27 percent sequentially and 22 and 23 percent year-over-year. Given that the iBooks were upgraded last October, buyers are likely waiting for the other shoe to drop, especially in light of speculation that Apple may be close to making a G5 processor work in such a small space after what it achieved with the iMac G5.

Miscellany

In Apple's other sales categories, Other Music Products, which includes the iTunes Music Store and iPod-related accessories, came in at $177 million, Peripherals & Other Hardware was $284 million and Software & Other was $213 million. That first category jumped 277 percent year-over-year and 81 percent sequentially -- not a surprise given the iTunes Music Store's continued success, another halo effect of the iPod's ascendancy -- while Peripherals & Other Hardware saw more modest growth of 5 and 28 percent when compared to 4Q04 and the same quarter a year ago. Software & Other flat-lined with no improvement in either comparison basis.

By Region

The Americas tend to be Apple's strongest geographical area, and the first quarter was no exception to that rule. The company sold 476,000 CPUs in the Americas for $1.637 billion in revenue, a slight increase from the 471,000 sold last quarter -- although those CPUs brought in $1.196 billion in sales, a 37 percent improvement -- but a large jump from the 378,000 units sold and $924 million in revenue generated a year ago. Apple was up 26 and 77 percent, respectively, over those last figures.

In Europe, Apple sold 320,000 units for $847 million, a nice 106 and 100 percent jump sequentially and 33 and 63 percent higher year-over-year. Apple's worldwide retail stores were the next largest segment in this category, with 119,000 Macs pushed out the doors for $561 million in sales. Revenue in the Apple Stores jumped 105 and 49 percent year-over-year and sequentially while units were up 63 and 21 percent. Those numbers will continue to increase each quarter, as long as Apple keeps opening new stores.

Apple's other operating segments, which include Asia Pacific and the company's FileMaker subsidiary, came in fourth with 67,000 computers sold for $260 million in revenue. Units were up 20 and 10 percent sequentially and year-over-year while revenue increased 95 and 44 percent. In Japan, Apple sold 64,000 units and brought in $185 million -- units and revenue were up 14 and 6 percent sequentially but down 17 percent and up 18 percent year-over-year.

Apple doesn't break out iPods and its miscellaneous sales categories by region.

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