Apple Computer introduced new Intel-powered desktop and notebook computers, said its wildly popular iPods helped drive a 63 percent jump in holiday quarter sales, and indicated it sold 1.25 million Macintosh computers during the holiday quarter when sales at its own retail stores were about $1 billion.
Apple sold 14 million iPods music and video players during the holiday quarter and 42 million to date. Jobs said that iPods were supply-limited. Speaking at the company's annual Macworld conference in San Francisco, CEO Steve Jobs claimed the iTunes store has so far sold 850 million songs.
The strong demand for iPods and Macs fueled a 63 percent jump in revenue to a record $5.7 billion compared with a year earlier, beating Wall Street concensus.
The company introduced new computers based on Intel Corp. chips. The company's new line of iMac computers would come in the same shape and sizes as the existing G5 line of iMacs, with starting prices at $1,299 and with twice the G5 performance. It also introduced a new high-end laptop called the MacBook Pro that will replace its PowerBook series, starting in February at prices beginning at $1,999. Some eyebrows were raised as Apple will be shipping the new Intel-based products six months before it said it would. The early shipments are likely to fuel a greater whole-year market share gain by Apple.
iLife photo and media software is updated in a new version of its suite of digital media editing tools for use in organizing and editing music, photos and movies and Web sites. ILife, which costs $79, also includes the ability to edit high-definition videos.
With its own stores generating over $22 million in annual sales each -- Best Buys stores do about $30M -- the company is clearly profiting by its own channel. Recall how Gateway tried the same strategy and failed.
Wall Street was ecstatic.