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Apple Q1 2013 Financial Results Conference Call ‘Highlights’

Apple Q1 2013 Financial Results Conference Call ‘Highlights’

After reporting its Q1 2013 earnings, Apple held their Financial Results Conference Call. Here are some “highlights”. I’ll do my best to offer interpretation or translation as we go along. My comments are in italics.


Q: iPhone 5 did incredibly well in the U.S., but internationally data has been more mixed. How would you characterize trends outside the U.S. for iPhone? Do you feel you have right screen sizes and price points to capture demand?

A: Sequentially we increased over 70% from September quarter, 3.5x market. We could not be happier with that. In terms of geographic distribution, we saw our highest growth in China. It was into the triple digits which was higher than the market there. I would characterize it as “we’re extremely pleased.”

Dear Journalist, an increase of 3.5X market, and triple digit growth in China… “Mixed?” Really?

Q: Many of your competitors are differentiating themselves with larger screen sizes. How do you feel about the market in that respect? Is there a long term case for larger screen sizes for smartphones?

A: iPhone 5 offers a new 4″ retina display. The most advanced display in the industry. No one comes close to matching the level of quality as our retina display. It also provides a larger screen size without sacrificing one-handed ease of use. We believe we’ve picked the right screen size.

Translation: You can reach everything on our screen without dislocating your thumb, or needing hands like Johnny Bench. We’re OK with that…


Q: When you provided guidance before, was it uniquely conservative? Is it no longer conservative? Are we getting a real planning range that’s fundamentally different from before?

A: In the past we provided a single conservative point estimate that we were confident of achieving. Our new guidance provides a range that we believe we will report within. No guidance is guaranteed.

Q: You think you’ll report in the range — was the guidance before something you felt reasonably confident in achieving? Historically you eclipsed your estimates enormously. Now you say you’ll land in the range.

Did you not even listen to the answer to your previous question? Or were you simply waiting for him to finish, so you could talk again?

Q: You’ve said the TV experience was dated. Can you step outside the form factor and talk about how important this market is to Apple? Can you accomplish what you want to accomplish with the reality of where content is distributed today?

A: You’re asking lots of questions I won’t answer. In terms of products we sell today, we sold more last quarter than we’ve sold before. Eclipsed 2 million during the quarter. Up 60% year over year. Very good growth in that product. What was a small niche at one time is now a much larger number.

This is an area of intense interest for us and remains that. I tend to believe that there is a lot we can contribute in this space and we continue to pull the string and see where it leads us. Don’t want to be more specific.

In other words, keep grinding them rumor beans, we’ll tell you when we’re ready!


Q: How did iPhone 5 sales proceed in terms of new customers versus upgrades and how does that compare to the 4S last year?

A: Don’t have specifics, but iPhone 5 volume shows that we’re selling to a lot of new customers.

Q: We heard that it was a lot of upgrades to existing customers but it doesn’t sound like you’d agree with that.

SIGH! See previous answer. AGAIN! 

Q: iPhone 4 is constrained during quarter, seems to be a lot of demand at lower price points. Why not get more aggressive and move downmarket in the iPhone business?

A: I’m not going to go into our pricing strategy. We feel great about the opportunity for getting products to customers and getting a percentage of those buying other Apple products. We see evidence of that through history and evidence of that through today.

Translation: Because we don’t have to, that’s why! Where’s the key for the emoticon with the little guy sticking his tongue out?

Those are the “highlights” of the conference call. I doubt my remarks added to the clarity of the call, but you get a little goofy listening to these things for over an hour, and the hold music before the call starts really doesn’t help.

If you’d like to see the official numbers from Apple for Q1 2013, you can read all about it here.

Special thanks to TechCrunch for the charts. And as an aside to my managing editor, Glenn… Sorry, there were no “Apple Pie” Charts.