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Apple Cautious About Future, Blu-ray Despite Higher Revenues

Even with record Macintosh and iPhone sales, the Cupertino, Calif.-electronics giant is downplaying holiday sales.

Despite reporting fiscal 2008 fourth quarter profits of over $1 billion, Apple is being cautious about the future.

CEO Steve Jobs warns that because of the current financial climate, December sales figures may be down.

"Apple just recorded one of the best quarters in its history with a spectacular performance by the iPhone; we sold more phones than RIM [Research in Motion, the manufacturer of the Blackberry]," boasts Jobs.

"We don't yet know how this economic downturn will affect Apple, but we are armed with the strongest product line in our history, the most talented employees and the best customers in our industry, and $25 billion of cash safely in the bank with zero debt."

Apple is cautiously predicting its December quarter revenues in the range of $9 billion to $10 billion, according to Peter Oppenheimer, CFO of Apple.

The company is riding the strength of record Macintosh computer revenues, which were up 17 percent based on more than 2.6 million unit shipments.

Apple says that it sold more than 11 million iPods during the quarter and nearly 6.9 million iPhones, which represents 8 percent and 3 percent growth for each of the product categories.

But the company is not as bullish on Blu-ray, a technology they have not yet included in any of their products.

"Blu-ray is a bag of hurt," Jobs said during a Q&A session at the company's recent MacBook event.

"I don't mean from the consumer point of view. It's great to watch movies, but the licensing is so complex. We're waiting until things settle down, and waiting until Blu-ray takes off before we burden our customers with the cost of licensing."

Jobs also recently opined on the company's Apple TV product, calling the digital living room a "hobby".

Rumors recently circulated that Apple would be producing networked HDTVs with functionality similar to the Apple TV built in.

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About the Author

Robert Archer, Senior Editor, CE Pro
Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass.


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