Apple's Steve Jobs Attacks Google, RIM During Earnings Call
Apple CEO Steve Jobs made an uncharacteristic appearance on his company's quarterly earnings call Oct. 18, offering attacks on both Google and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion.
"As most of you know, I usually don't participate in the earnings calls," Jobs told analysts and media on the call, "but I couldn't help dropping by for our first $20 billion quarter."
Apple posted revenues of $20.34 billion, and a net quarterly profit of $4.31 billion. Apple reported sales of 3.89 million Macs during the quarter, along with 14.1 million iPhones and 9.05 million iPods. While sales of Macs and iPhones experienced year-over-year increases of 27 percent and 91 percent, respectively, the iPod continued its slow quarter-by-quarter decline.
During the earnings call with media and analysts, Apple executives also highlighted what they termed an increased acceptance of the iPhone by the enterprise. "We've seen extraordinary growth from 60 percent to 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies," Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said during the call, listing companies such as Procter & Gamble that had "made iPhone available to their employees." Many of those large companies apparently offered the iPad to their workers.
Apple had sales of 4.19 million iPads for the fiscal 2010 fourth quarter, a significant increase from the 3.27 million sold during the previous quarter, and yet another sign that the tablet PC is gaining traction among customers.
It was the unexpected appearance of Steve Jobs that elevated the quarterly earnings call beyond the typical. Jobs immediately launched full-frontal attacks at Research In Motion -- whose BlackBerry remains the iPhone's significant opponent among business users -- and Google Android, which is loaded onto an increasing number of smartphones.
"We've now passed RIM, and I don't see them catching up with us in the immediate future," Jobs aid. "I think it's going to be a challenge for them to create a competitive platform ... With 300,000 apps in Apple's App Store, RIM has a high mountain to climb."
Jobs then took a swipe at Google. "[Google CEO] Eric Schmidt pointed out that they're activating 200,000 units per day," he told media and analysts. "By comparison, Apple has activated 270,000 units per day, on average." Jobs also targeted emerging iPad competitors.
Apple's next event is scheduled for Oct. 20 at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. The company is remaining characteristically tight-lipped about the nature of that shindig, although invitations sent to media last week were titled "Back to the Mac." The invites also promise attendees a glimpse of "the next major version of Mac OS X."