Apple announced monster sales of 37 million iPhones yesterday for the holiday quarter that spanned 14 weeks and ended Dec. 31, 2011. It’s a 128 percent unit increase and 133 percent revenue increase, annually, and enough to knock Samsung off the No. 1 spot it briefly held in the previous quarter. However, it appears that the popularity of the iPhone 4S also helped Apple thrive over Google’s platform, especially with Android backers such as Motorola Mobility, HTC and Sony Ericsson reporting disappointing results.
According to research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech (viaReuters), iPhone sales gave iPhone a lead over Android in smartphone sales in the United States. Specifically, Apple’s share of the U.S. market during October to November of last year doubled from 22.45 percent a year ago to 44.9 percent. Meanwhile Google’s Android smartphones dropped from 50 percent to 44.8 percent in the same period. Kantar’s global consumer insight director Dominic Sunnebo:
Apple has continued its strong sales run in the U.S., UK and Australia over the Christmas period. Overall, Apple sales are now growing at a faster rate than Android across the nine countries we cover.
Another way to look at iPhone numbers: The iPhone business generated $24.42 billion revenue. During the same quarter, all of Microsoft raked in $20.89 billion revenue. In fact, all of Apple’s holiday-quarter revenues and profits were two times higher than Microsoft’s.
Yet another look at iPhone numbers: Apple sells more iPhones in a day than babies born.
This is in line with an NPD survey that noted the iPhone 4S helped Apple boost its U.S. smartphone share during the October to November 2011 period (U.K, too), with only four percentage points of Android lead over iPhone. It should be noted that of the 37 million iPhones sold, 6 million remained in channel inventory at the end of the quarter. It is nothing to worry about given the iPhone’s wide distribution footprint around the world, more than a hundred carrier partners and thousands of other points of sale. Despite lack of hard data, we could assume a few iPhone 4S units were in channel inventory given high demand.
Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer noted during yesterday’s earnings call that “nearly all of the top companies in the Fortune 500 now approve and support iPhones on their networks,” including Credit Suisse, Kimberly Clark, St. Jude Medical, Nike (where Apple CEO Tim Cook is a board member) and Facebook. Cook remarked during the call that Apple “didn’t bet high enough” on iPhone sales and confirmed that the iPhone 4S was by far the most popular model during the holiday quarter.
It is also interesting that Microsoft reported a 6 percent decline in holiday-quarter Windows revenues due to cannibalization of Windows PCs by the iPad. After all, Apple did sell more iPads during the holiday quarter than Hewlett-Packard sold PCs. In fact, Apple beat HP in both unit sales and revenues— enough to become the top computer maker (if you count tablets), as expected.