In its second-quarter 2008 Quarterly Results Conference Call, Apple Inc. executives CFO Peter Oppenheimer and COO Tim Cook made several comments concerning its music-related products, which accounted for 36% of the company’s total revenue in the second fiscal quarter. During his opening remarks, Oppenheimer revealed that Apple’s share of the U.S. MP3 market was 73% for the quarter, according to data from the NPD Group. He also discussed the enthusiastic developer response to the iPhone SDK, which has now seen more than 200,000 downloads. Over one-third of the Fortune 500 has applied to Apple’s iPhone 2.0 beta Enterprise program, along with over 400 higher-education institutions. Due to the pre-announcement of the iPhone 2.0 software on March 6th, Apple also plans to defer revenue of new iPhone sales until after the release of the 2.0 software, which both executives repeatedly said will come in “late June.”
Speaking about iPhone inventory and recent supply problems, Tim Cook said, “In terms of the shortages, we expected iPhone to decline more on a sequential basis than it did… as we got towards the end of the quarter we began to experience stock-outs. Our US stores have experienced more stockouts, relatively more… we believe that more iPhones are bought there with the intention of unlocking.” Cook went on to explain that iPhone revenue would be deferred “because the customers who purchased after March 6th were presumably aware of the free software upgrade when they purchased the phone,” and also said that iPhone carrier partners “are free to price the iPhone as low as they wish.”
Cook declined to comment on whether Apple sold more iPhones in Europe specifically than expected — there was a suggestion that it did not — but he did say, “In total, we sold more than we expected. We expected a sharper seasonal decline than what we experienced.” He also noted that once units have been shipped to one of Apple’s carrier partners, they can’t be easily pulled out and re-shipped to another partner. “Once the unit’s already shipped and designated to a carrier, the ability to move them around is very low,” Cook said.