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Apple quarterly results: Context is everything when talking of Apple’s slide

Apple quarterly results: Context is everything when talking of Apple’s slide

Read tech blogs today, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that all is doom and gloom at Apple.

Profits are down, share prices have dropped and the iPhone 5c appears to have tanked spectacularly.

Meanwhile, investors fret over the ability of Apple to recapture past glories, while analysts moan that the so-called budget iPhone just isn’t budget enough.

Step back a bit, though, and it’s hard to see why everyone’s so het up. Not least because Apple made a colossal $7.5 billion in the last quarter.

That was down from $8.2 billion in the same period last year, but represented a jump on the last three months.

This is a company that is still making a massive amount of money.

iphone 5s5c family

Perhaps not at the absurd rate as a few years ago, when it became the world’s biggest company by market cap.

But it's still way beyond many of its rivals in a tough global economic climate.

iPhone sales aren’t exactly shabby either. At more than 33 million, Apple broke its July-September record for devices sold.

Considering the iPhone 5s and 5c make up only the last week of that period, that’s hugely impressive.

The 5c is a cause for concern, yes. Sales are clearly not what was expected.

Chinese punters are opting for the 5s in their droves according to new stats, with 83% going for the higher-specced phone instead of the plastic edition.

Apple logo via Samsung Phone

But as has been pointed out by Wall Street watchers, those who buy devices like the iPhone 5c, ostensibly more affordable devices, are not the sort of people who snag a new phone the minute they come out.

The belief is that they’ll buy the 5c in their droves as networks cut the cost of the device as 2014 gets underway.

Context is vital when claiming Apple is on the wane. Just look at manufacturers that until a few years ago were considered its rivals.

HTC just posted a massive loss, its critically acclaimed phones simply not selling.

Nokia has been sold to Microsoft, but uses a platform that lacks traction and is getting excited about quarterly sales of smartphones that are barely a quarter of what Apple has managed.

Meanwhile, BlackBerry is a mess - 40% of its staff laid off and up for sale to the highest bidder.

Samsung Galaxy S4 black official (front, back and side)

In terms of hardware, only Samsung can touch Apple.

It’s expected to post massive profits in the next few weeks, no surprise seeing as it has a massive marketing budget and has flooded every sector of the market with a Galaxy-branded devices.

Its success is warranted and keeps competition at the top strong.

The best summary of Apple’s current position is this: That a company that once showed phenomenal growth is now simply a strong corporate player.

Nokia, BlackBerry and HTC would kill to be in Apple’s position. Rumours of Cupertino’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.

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