So Apple made more money in the last three months than any other company in history, ever. In fact Apple made more money last year than many countries’ GDP, including Portugal. The growth has been in part due to its expanding market in China and the continuing success of the iPhone. Sales for it’s other products, particularly the iPad are in fact down.
The coverage of Apple’s profit announcements has been relatively extreme in its opinion. At one end of the spectrum commentators consider it immoral to make that much money when Apple continues to use low cost labour in developing nations – at the other end is a celebration of the success of the iPhone and brand that is recognised globally. IMHO, for what it’s worth, I think that the key issue in all of this is that it’s a technology company that has taken the lead over the second biggest company – Exxon Mobile – an oil company.
It does appear that Apple is dammed if they do, dammed if they don’t. It’s in the business of making money. The company also holds the lofty aspiration of thinking differently. By this it means creating technology that makes markets and that’s what they did with the iPhone. While there is many that feel that there are superior devices on the market, the profit announcement shows that many still don’t.
To me what’s been most interesting about the recent coverage is how this original upstart and pretender to the Microsoft crown has become the technology equivalent of marmite – you either love it or hate it.
As a tech PR, I also love the statistics that have been used to highlight the amount of profit that Apple made. Tech journalist for the BBC Rory Cellan-Jones nailed some simply brilliant statistics in his report this week. My favourites were that it would take Tesco ten years to make the same £12billion in profits that Apple made in the last three months of 2014. Oh and that during Rory’s report that lasted 2.44 minutes, Apple had made another £0.25million.
Perhaps my favourite commentary of the Apple results however came from a Radio 2 DJ (yes, yes, I’m showing my age) who suggested that we nationalise Apple and put the profits back into the economy. I think that he perhaps had missed the point that Apple is in fact an American brand!
Claire Lamb is a consultant at Skout. She’s worked in technology PR for 20 years and has survived more bubbles than Michael Jackson.