Did Apple's Record Breaking Quarter Come at the Expense of Windows PC Sales?

Paul Lilly

Apple's top brass on Tuesday were smiling ear to ear as the Cupertino outfit announced financial results for its fiscal 2011 third quarter ended June 25, 2011. They had reason to grin, given that Apple posted quarterly revenue of $28.57 billion and record quarterly net profit of $7.31 billion, or $7.79 per diluted share. It was the best quarter Apple has ever posted, and if you're willing to drink Apple COO Tim Cook's Kool-Aid, Windows PC users should be worried.

Apple sold 20.34 million iPhones in the quarter, up 142 percent from one year ago. It also sold 9.25 million iPad devices, a 183 percent increase from a year prior. Macs fared pretty well too, but didn't come close to matching those kind of numbers with 3.95 million units sold, representing a 14 percent from the same quarter in 2010.

Mr. Cook acknowledged that it's own iPad may have cut into Mac sales, but he says the impact was much greater on the Windows PC side.

"First as I said before I think there was some cannibalization of new Macs by iPads..it's clear that some customers chose to purchase an iPad instead of a new Mac, but what really excites us is more customers chose to buy an iPad than a Windows PC," Cook said during an earnings call, according to Forbes .

The problem with Cook's statement is that he doesn't have any numbers to support his claim. He has plenty of other numbers to throw out there, like revenue being up 82 percent and profits up 125 percent, but no hard figures that show Windows PC users opting to turn over to the Dark Side via an iPad tablet.

We have to wait another day for Microsoft to report fourth quarter earnings, as well as year-end results for fiscal year 2011. Whatever numbers the Redmond outfit drops on the public aren't likely to match Apple's record breaking third-quarter, but they're expected to be positive nonetheless. According to WallStCheatSheet.com , analysts predict a profit of 58 cents per share, a rise of 13.7 percent from one year prior. Analysts also predict Microsoft will announce net income up nearly 23 percent. Note that Microsoft has been profitable for the last eight quarters, and for the last four, profit has risen by an average of 32.5 percent, WallStCheatSheet.com reports. In other words, no need to hit the panic button, or trade your PC for an iPad.

Around the web