During a conference call with analysts following the release of its fourth quarter financial results, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer and COO Tim Cook made several statements regarding the company’s iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV businesses. In his opening statement, Oppenheimer said the company sold “almost” 10.2 million iPods, with 50% of iPod customers purchasing their first iPod, even in countries where the device enjoys a wide market share lead. iPod touch sales were up 100% year-over-year in the fourth quarter, he said, in part driven by the success of the App Store, which saw more than half a billion downloads in the September quarter alone. The iPod family continues to gain market share in nearly every region.
Regarding the iPhone, COO Tim Cook said the company was “very surprised” by the response to the iPhone 3GS. For much of the quarter, most countries were very low on 3GS with demand outstripping supply; the situation was remedied by the end of September in most regions. Cook added that the company expected a higher mix of iPhone 3G sales, and “quickly changed our orders and components etcetera that are different between the models. I think it shows there is an intense appetite for Apple’s latest technology and we were very pleased with the result.”
Cook also revealed that the iPhone will launch on China Unicom on October 30th, with 1000 points of sale, and service plans ranging from $18-$85/month, adding that Apple is “really excited to get started” in the market. Overall, the iPhone 3GS was available in 64 countries by the end of the quarter, and Apple plans to add several more over the next three months, including China, and hopefully Korea. When asked whether a move to multiple carriers in one country had an effect on the price Apple charges its carrier partners for each handset, Cook said, “Generally in markets where we’re already selling, I wouldn’t expect to see a wholesale price difference, however, the end-user price is really set by the carriers themselves, so you may see a street price difference.” The average selling price for the iPhone during the quarter was just over $600.
Regarding Apple’s enterprise efforts, and the popularity of the iPhone in the corporate environment, Cook said, “employee demand for iPhone in the corporate environment is very strong… iPhone is either being deployed or piloted in well over 50% of fortune 100, in europe – about 50% of the financial times 100. Another very key market for us is that over 350 higher ed institutions have approved iPhone for faculty staff and students.” Cook also said the company continues to be very happy with government sales.