Reporting its fourth quarter 2011 financial results today, Apple said it sold 6.62 million iPods during the quarter—a 27 percent decrease compared to the same quarter last year. Apple sold 17.07 million iPhones in the quarter, a 21 percent increase year-over-year, and down slightly from the 20.34 million units sold in the third quarter. Apple also sold 11.12 million iPads during the quarter, up 166 percent from 4.19 million units in the year-ago quarter. The unit sales of iPhones, iPods, and iPads bring the cumulative unit sales for the three device categories to 145.96 million, 321.18 million, and 39.85 million, respectively. The company posted revenue of $28.27 billion and net quarterly profit of $6.62 billion, or $7.05 per diluted share, compared with revenue of $20.34 billion and net quarterly profit of $4.31 billion, or $4.64 per diluted share, in Q4 2010.
“We are thrilled with the very strong finish of an outstanding fiscal 2011, growing annual revenue to $108 billion and growing earnings to $26 billion,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Customer response to iPhone 4S has been fantastic, we have strong momentum going into the holiday season, and we remain really enthusiastic about our product pipeline.”
“We are extremely pleased with our record September quarter revenue and earnings and with cash generation of $5.4 billion during the quarter,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2012, which will span 14 weeks rather than 13, we expect revenue of about $37 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share of about $9.30.”
Griffin has released Crayola Paint & Create for the iPad, a new app for children that provides a collection of more than 40 games and activities including puzzles, mazes, color-by-numbers, connect-the-dots and more. The app allows kids to use their fingers as coloured pencils, pain brushes, crayons or markers, dynamically drawing on the touchscreen and bringing colouring pages to life with motion and song effects. Animated pages allows users to colour in existing scenes or they can start from a blank canvas to generate their own works or art. All artwork can be saved to the gallery, mailed, uploaded to Facebook or printed out via AirPrint. Paint & Create can be used alone or in conduction with the Crayola ColorStudio HD and iMarker accessory. Crayola Paint & Create is available from the App Store for an introductory price of $3.
Following a series of conflicting reports from AppleCare representatives, iLounge has confirmed that Apple intends to phase out its $69 AppleCare Protection Plan for iPhone in favor of the $99 AppleCare+ for iPhone, a change that will have major implications for future iPhone customers. As of today, the $69 plan may still be purchased during the iPhone’s one-year standard warranty period—unlike the new AppleCare+ plan, which must be purchased at the point-of-sale—but only for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, not the iPhone 4S.
According to AppleCare representatives, AppleCare will be “phased out” or “discontinued” for iPhones, remaining an option for customers who purchased their phones prior to the introduction of the AppleCare+ plan, until all potentially eligible customers have exhausted their one-year warranty periods, sometime on or near October 13, 2012. Notably, AppleCare+ is currently not available in all countries, and the prior AppleCare Protection Plan for iPhone is still promoted as the primary option for customers where AppleCare+ is not available. In the United States, Apple’s AppleCare page for iPhone now lists only AppleCare+, while no mention is made of the $69 plan.
Introduced in July 2007, the original AppleCare Protection Plan extends the iPhone’s one-year of defect- and battery-related repair coverage to two years. The new AppleCare+ plan goes beyond this by adding coverage for up to two incidents of accidental damage due to handling, each subject to an additional $49 service fee. The difference in the packages means that customers will need to pay more up front, and immediately, as the AppleCare+ plan must be purchased with a new iPhone. Additional charges may apply down the road, depending on how fortunate the user is in preventing damage to the handset. Previously, AppleCare representatives had the option to repair an accidentally damaged iPhone one time without charge to the user, a customer satisfaction policy that we have been told will no longer be permitted with AppleCare+‘s introduction.
Scosche has announced that it is now shipping its clipSync Charge and Sync cable for the iPod and iPhone. Introduced at the 2011 CES in January, the clipSync is a compact charge and sync cable offering full-size USB and dock connectors, both of which are stored inside an attached aluminum and black polycarbonate body that also sports a built-in, spring-loaded carabiner clip. Scosche’s clipSync Charge and Sync cable for the iPod and iPhone is available now and sells for $20; for more information, see our First Look article.
Apple released Apple TV Software Update 4.4.1 for its second-generation set-top box less than one week after the release of 4.4, only to pull the update—at least on a temporary basis—shortly thereafter. According to Apple’s release notes, the 4.4.1 update “addresses an issue that required a small number of Apple TV units to be connected to iTunes in order to complete the update.” Shortly following the update’s release, some users reported that the 4.4.1 update “bricked” their units, requiring connection to iTunes for a restore, according to Mac Rumors. The update has since been pulled, at least on a temporary basis.
Apparent today unveiled its new Doxie Go portable scanner for Mac, PC, and iOS. Doxie is a cordless scanner featuring a built-in battery and 600 page memory with an SD slot for expansion, the ability to scan a full color page in just eight seconds and create searchable PDFs using ABBYY OCR technology, a USB port for syncing scanned documents to the Doxie software on the Mac, PC, or iOS device, and the ability to send scanned documents and images to cloud services such as Evernote, Dropbox, Google Docs, and others. Doxie Go will come with the scanner itself, Doxie 2.0 software, and a carrying case, and will ship in late November for $199. Pre-orders are open now; iOS compatibility will require the use of an extra accessory, which is set to ship this December for $39.
Apple has updated its “how to buy” page for the iPhone 4S to reflect the fact that its retail stores in the United States and Canada are now accepting reservations for the new handset. As stated on the page, “iPhone 4S is available in store by reservation only. Reserve yours after 9:00 p.m. tonight for pickup tomorrow. When you come in, you’ll choose a carrier and plan, and we’ll get your iPhone up and running before you leave the store.” It seems unlikely that Apple would refuse to sell any unreserved units to walk-in customers, and as such, it may be taking reservations and then selling any remaining stock on a walk-in basis. According to an Apple retail employee who spoke with Mac Rumors, their particular location was still selling the iPhone 4S to walk-in customers, adding that supplies are “evaporating.” Apple launched the iPhone 4S on Friday, and this morning announced sales of over four million units over the weekend.
Apple is offering “special limited time” pricing on refurbished first-generation iPad units. The refurbished iPad page of the company’s online store shows several models in stock, including 64GB Wi-Fi units for $399, 32GB Wi-Fi + 3G units for the same price, and 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G units for $499, a substantial savings off the original $829 price. All of Apple’s refurbished iPads come with a new battery and outer shell, all manuals and accessories, and the same one-year warranty as new models.
An administrative law judge with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has ruled in Apple’s favor in an early decision on HTC’s patent infringement claims. Reuters reports that the judge found “no violation” by Apple of four HTC patents related to power management and phone dialing. The full commission will decide whether to uphold or reject the judge’s decision next February; HTC said in July that is was “open to having discussions” with Apple in hopes of reaching a settlement in the various ongoing patent infringement cases between the two companies.
Samsung has filed for preliminary injunctions barring the sale of the iPhone 4S in Japan and Australia. The Wall Street Journal reports that the motions, filed in Tokyo District Court and the New South Wales Registry, claim infringements on technology and user-interface patents and wireless telecommunications standards, respectively. “We are actively responding in (the legal battle) with Apple,” said Samsung spokesman James Chung. The company is already seeking a ban on iPhone 4S sales in France and Italy; a Dutch court rejected a Samsung injunction motion against Apple’s products last week, while an Australian court granted Apple a temporary injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet.
In an article discussing the Siri personal assistant feature of the iPhone 4S, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Siri team is one of the largest software groups at Apple. Citing a person who worked at Apple on the project, the report states that when it began integrating Siri into the iPhone, Apple focused on keeping Siri’s personality friendly and humble, and worked on its responses in an attempt to forge an emotional tie with customers. “We thought of it almost as a person on the phone,” said the person. “How would we want a person to respond?” Apple purchased Siri for $200 million in 2010.
Marco Arment has released Instapaper 4.0, a major update to the popular offline reading app for iOS devices. The new version features a number of significant improvements including completely redesigned interfaces with a new grid view on the iPad version and a unified and restyled navigation view on the iPhone/iPod touch versions. Users can now also perform server-side searching of the full content of their entire Instapaper archive and can select multiple articles to archive, delete or move in a single operation. The update also adds support for hardware brightness control in iOS 5, draggable scrollbars for quickly navigating through documents and the inclusion of article authors, published dates and site titles in articles whenever available.
Instapaper 4.0 also expands Friends support allowing users to browse recent links from their Facebook news feed, Twitter timeline and Tumblr dashboard and users can also customize the number of liked and archived items stored on the device, take advantage of integrated Wikipedia lookups from within articles and opt to use the built-in dictionary under iOS 5. A number of other smaller enhancements and bug fixes have also been included. A detailed overview of the new features is available in a post at Macro Arment’s blog. Instapaper 4.0 is a universal app requiring iOS 4.2 or later and is available from the App Store for $5.
Apple this morning announced that the iPhone 4S saw sales of over four million units over the launch weekend. In the announcement, it also revealed that over 25 million customers have updated their iOS devices to iOS 5, and more than 20 million have signed up for iCloud. The iPhone 4S is available now in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the UK, and will launch in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland on October 28.
“iPhone 4S is off to a great start with more than four million sold in its first weekend—the most ever for a phone and more than double the iPhone 4 launch during its first three days,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “iPhone 4S is a hit with customers around the world, and together with iOS 5 and iCloud, is the best iPhone ever.”
iSkin has rolled out its new Aura case for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, as well as the Aura2 for iPad 2. The Aura for iPhone 4/4S combines a thin hard polycarbonate frame and a metallic brushed aluminum exterior, and offers open access to all ports, controls, and cameras. It is available in graphite, navy, and silver and sells for $40. The Aura2 for iPad 2 is a folio-style case offering interior microfiber lining, a brushed metallic nylon exterior, an integrated multi-angle stand, interior card pockets, open access to all ports and controls, and compatibility with the iPad 2’s automatic sleep/wake feature. Initially available in navy only, it is priced at $100.
iLounge has completed its initial 3G cellular data speed comparisons of the iPhone 4S across all of the available U.S. carriers. As seen in the graphic below, the data speeds seen on AT&T’s HSPA network—between 2.41Mbps and 2.99Mbps down, 0.68-0.81Mbps up at our Buffalo, NY test location—far outpace those seen on either Verizon’s or Sprint’s EV-DO networks in the same area. Between the two CDMA carriers, Verizon fared better save for one outlier, with download speeds ranging from 0.55-0.69Mbps down and 0.04-0.26Mbps up, compared to 0.33-0.58Mbps down and 0.11-0.22Mbps up for Sprint. As was the case when the CDMA iPhone 4 was released, it appears that AT&T has a significant edge in 3G cellular data speeds relative to its rivals. LTE networks and LTE-supporting iPhones will most likely be necessary to let Verizon and Sprint bridge the current performance gap.
We have just posted a set of videos comparing the 1080p output of the iPhone 4S to the 720p output of the iPhone 4. While iLounge’s editors are split on which video looks better from a color standpoint, the video taken with the iPhone 4S is obviously more detailed, and the benefits of the iPhone 4S’s built-in image stabilization are also apparent. Both videos are available for viewing in embedded form below, and are also available on YouTube, along with a second pair of comparison videos shot in portrait orientation.
iLounge is continuing to test the iPhone 4S ahead of our comprehensive review, but we wanted to bring you some of our initial findings beforehand. We experienced some serious delays trying to activate one of our AT&T units; connecting it to a Mac and trying to activate through iTunes seemed to fix the issue. In testing done at our Buffalo, NY offices, the iPhone 4S shows no noticeable 3G speed difference from the iPhone 4, suggesting that improved download speeds will be very location-dependent, and will depend on the status of AT&T’s towers in a given area. The 64GB version of the iPhone 4S offers 57.24GB of usable capacity, compared to 58.04GB for the 64GB iPod touch 4G. Finally, in our initial camera testing, we’ve found the iPhone 4S to offer more detail and reduced noise, but surprisingly, early comparison shots give a slight edge in color rendition to the iPhone 4.
Updated: We’ve discovered some new details we wanted to share. Notably, for users restoring their new phones from a past Backup, they may find that Siri is turned off. Simply open the Settings app, tap on General, tap Siri, and turn it on. With Siri turned off, the iPhone 4S reverts to the far less powerful Voice Control, as seen on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS. The iPhone 4S’ 1080p videos take up ~24Mbps, compared to ~11Mbps for the iPhone 4’s 720p captures.
Updated x2: We have since posted video comparisons showing off the differences in the iPhone 4’s and iPhone 4S’ cameras—especially notable is the latter’s built-in stabilization—as well as the results of our initial 3G speed tests, which show AT&T retaining its significant advantage over Verizon and newcomer Sprint.
Apple has pushed the shipment dates on iPhone 4S pre-orders in Australia back to ensure U.S. and European pre-orders are fulfilled, according to a new report. Citing information from an Australian Apple service representative, TUAW reports that Australian pre-orders have been delayed by one to two weeks compared to other territories. Customers who pre-ordered the device on October 7—the first day one could do so—will have to wait until October 21-28 to receive their handset. As noted in the report, Apple quoted its Australian customers a shipping date of October 14 during the order process, leading to frustration and anger for those who are now left waiting while users in other parts of the world are receiving their new iPhones.
iLounge has received its first iPhone 4S test units, and has posted a complete unboxing and comparison gallery to Flickr, including images of the new Siri Assistant feature, its settings, and related screens. In addition to photos of the iPhone 4S, our Flickr account also offers photos of the new white fourth-generation iPod touch, which were posted earlier this week. Stay tuned throughout the day for more photo updates and initial testing notes on Apple’s latest handset.
The iPhone 4S’ launch in Japan was marred by an unfortunate SoftBank server issue. The Wall Street Journal reports that a server glitch led the company to suspend sales nationwide for three full hours—the first three hours of the launch. “I am sorry for the inconvenience. The registration system has been restored,” SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son announced over Twitter at roughly 11:15 am Local Time. The launch also marks the end of iPhone exclusivity for SoftBank, as rival carrier KDDI is also offering the handset, beginning today.