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Monday, January 25, 2010, 02:00 pm PT (05:00 pm ET)

Steve Jobs: Apple a $50B company, excited over 'major new product'

Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs announced that the company's annual revenues are now beyond $50 billion, but indicated that even more is in the pipeline to get excited about.

"If you annualize our quarterly revenue, it's surprising that Apple is now a $50+ billion company," Jobs said. "The new products we are planning to release this year are very strong, starting this week with a major new product that we're really excited about."

Apple sold 3.36 million Macs, including more than 2.1 million notebooks. That represented 33% growth in Mac sales, compared to an industry-wide 17% growth in PCs reported by IDG. Desktop sales reached 70% growth year over year thanks to the popular new iMac models. Apple's COO Tim Cook detailed even greater growth rates in Mac sales internationally.

It also sold 21 million iPods and 8.74 million iPhones, a record number of new mobile devices for the company. Apple retained roughly 70% market share in the global MP3 market with iPods; growth in the iPod touch reached 55%, while iPhones amounted to a 100% increase in sales over the previous quarter, comparing very favorably to Canalys' data showing industry smartphone growth at around 30%.

The "major new product" Jobs alluded to is expected to be a tablet-form factor device to be announced on Wednesday at the scheduled press event. Company executes speaking during today's earnings announcement explicitly avoided any comment on what the company might release on Wednesday, even dodging the question of whether any new products in the pipeline might contribute to Apple's future earnings.

As the company outperforms both its PC and smartphone competitors and maintains dominance over the entire MP3 market, the uncertainty of whether Apple will be able to successfully deploy a tablet-sized device (given the history of failure dogging that category of products) seems less of a risk than many observers have suggested.

Apple's confidence in launching a new, larger mobile device appears to be based on its years-long head start in releasing usable multitouch interface technology that customers have snapped up enthusiastically, in addition to the tight integration between its iTunes business and its mobile device hardware.