Admit it, everyone loves an underdog. If you’ve been paying attention to the transformation Sprint has been undergoing over the last few years… you know you’re pulling for them too. After all, competition and parity in the wireless market place only benefits the consumer. Today, Sprint posted its Q3 2010 earnings report and the results, for the most part, were mixed. Sprint had its second best quarter in company history in order of wireless subscriber additions, adding a total of 644,000 new customers — 354,000 of which were postpaid. The company also noted that they saw their churn rate drop to 1.93%; down from 2.17% in Q3 of last year. While the high level numbers were positive, the bottom line — how much cold, hard cash the company brought in — is still a cause for concern. The Now Network posted a net loss of $911 million which translates into a net loss of $0.30 per diluted share. “Driven by record customer satisfaction, and the performance of iconic devices like the EVO and Epic, Sprint’s momentum continued this quarter,” quipped Dan Hesse, the company’s CEO. Sprint is hoping to capitalize on their first-to-market 4G network and strong handset lineup to have a strong holiday season and propel the company to higher metrics in Q4. More →
Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s CEO, recently spoke at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia XIX Conference and said, ” We’re on pace to set a record for integrated devices.” That’s pretty amazing considering the fierce competition Verizon Wireless and Sprint have been giving each other. Stephenson went on to detail that the iPhone 4, the BlackBerry Torch, and the Samsung Captivate have been “solid drivers for the company.” AT&T’s tiered data strategy also seems to be paying off, at least in the short-term, by moving a lot of people “into the data market who had not been” before. 53% of AT&T’s postpaid subscribers use a smartphone, there are over 7 million connected devices on the network, and even around half a million iPads.
Switching gears to LTE, AT&T’s chief executive offer reiterated a lot of what the CEO of AT&T Operations said last week: AT&T will be launching LTE service for the general public by mid-2011 and will cover over 70 million subscribers by the end of the same year. This will put AT&T in a head to head battle with Verizon Wireless who intends to have over 100 million subscribers covered with LTE by the end of this year. More →
Back in June, Steve Jobs claimed that the iPad had captured 22% of the ebook market since its release in April of this year. J.A. Konrath, a popular fiction author, has recently stated that he is not seeing anywhere close to the figure touted by Apple’s CEO. In a recent blog post, Mr. Konrath wrote:
Publishers might be looking at enriched or enhanced ebooks as their new big-ticket items to replace hardcovers. But the major ebook retailer, Amazon, isn’t set up for video. Kindle isn’t even able to do color yet. That leaves Apple, and according to my numbers Apple is a very small part of the ebook market. I sell 200 ebooks a day on Kindle. On iPad, I sell 100 a month.
Konrath, who is a huge proponent of eBooks, goes on to say that author’s can net 70% of their work’s profits by publishing directly to ebooks; as well as pick their own cover, price, and title. Compare that with the standard 17.5% profit-sharing model publishers typically offer authors who go to print. This is just one authors tale, but you would think that if that 22% figure thrown around by Apple were accurate the numbers would not be this far off.
Digital Daily has published an interesting report about the profitability of Apple retail stores. The report states that in Apple’s last quarter — Q3 for Apple — the fruit company’s retail arm brought in $2.58 billion, a 72.8% jump from Q2 of 2009. In a retrospective comparison, Digital Daily notes that $2.58 billion is, “greater than the company’s total quarterly revenue from the second quarter of fiscal 1996 through the fourth quarter of fiscal 2004.” The iPad is being given credit for much of the retail success, the launch has, “generated a 38.7 percent increase in visitors per store, a 52.9 percent increase in same-store revenues, and a stunning 106.3 percent increase in non-Mac revenues.” We’ve heard that Apple retail stores gross more than double (per square foot) than high-end retailer Tiffany’s, and with numbers like this, we aren’t having a hard time believing it. More →
The WSJ is reporting that Taiwanese handset maker HTC saw Q2 unaudited net profits rise 33% in 2010. Some key metrics from HTC’s Q2 include: $268 million in unedited profit, earnings of $0.37/share, and revenue growth of 58% (beating out HTC’s April forecast of 50% growth). Yuanta Securities analyst, Bonnie Chang, predicts that HTC will ship over 20 million handsets this year, up from 12 million in 2009. All-in-all a very impressive Q2 for HTC. More →
FierceWirelss is reporting that Macquarie Group analyst, Phil Cusik, anticipates Nokia to issue a Q2 profit warning as early as next week. Cusik cites: lower demand in Europe, a weak Euro, and “stale” products as the basis for his profit warming prediction. In April, Nokia had foretasted sales of handsets and services to be roughly $8 billion in Q2. The world’s number one handset manufacturer is scheduled to announce earnings on July 22nd. More →
It has been a long, and at times, ominous road for number-two chip maker AMD, however, we are happy to report that there is reason for the underdog to celebrate. After 13 consecutive quarters of operating in the red, AMD has reported a net income of $1.18 billion dollars for the fourth quarter of 2009. The announcement is largely due to a 28% growth in sales over the holiday season — fueled by the demand for new PC’s and netbooks — and a $1.25 billion lawsuit settlement from rival chip maker Intel. Sales from AMD’s graphics division lead the charge climbing 58% from the previous year, while processor sales also jumped 39% year-over-year. Even with all this good news AMD’s stock is trading lower, as analysts are uncertain that AMD can hit its revenue number for 2010 and/or gain market share from the juggernaut that is Intel. More →
Yesterday Research In Motion released its third quarter results, and what results they were. The BlackBerry maker reported selling a record breaking 10 million BlackBerrys in Q3, the old record, 8.3 million phones, was set in the previous quarter. Perhaps the most encouraging stat of the quarter for RIM was not how many phones it sold, but rather who it sold those 10 million phones to. RIM is reporting that 80% of all new subscribers were non-corporate customers, a market in which, historically, RIM has been weak. As a quick numbers comparison Apple, Inc. sold just over 7.4 million iPhones in their most recent quarter. More →
Perhaps it would be better to rename it the iPhone 3G$? Do you see what we did just there? Today, Reuters is reporting Apple overtook Nokia as the handset company with the highest total operating profit in the September quarter; the last time Nokia did not hold this title was Q3 of 2007. What does this mean? The iPhone generates a lot of revenue for the Cupertino computer maker. Apple sold 7.4 million iPhones in the July to September quarter to generate sales of $4.5 billion, Nokia on the other hand sold 108.5 million handsets and generated sales of $10.36 billion. Apple nudged out Nokia in revenue mainly due to other financial obligations and the economic downturn. You don’t need an abacus to figure out the iPhone is a huge part of Apple’s earnings. No panic out of the Nokia camp however, with the release of the N900 they’re confident in their ability to take back the top spot on the podium. One thing is for certain, we’ll be purchasing several of these Linux powered, A8 processor havin’, numbers. How about you? More →
Deutsche Bank analyst Brian Modoff fed some figures to the Wall Street Journal this morning and to say they speak volumes for the effectiveness of both RIM and Apple’s strategies is a gross understatement. Two companies, 3 percent of the global cell phone market, 35 percent of the operating profits. Sheesh. It’s no mystery that both companies have hit the industry hard of late but if this statistic doesn’t speak volumes for the success both have been experiencing, we don’t know what does. While Apple’s next handset release is about a year away, the company continues to bring its iPhone 3GS to new markets where it has yet to receive anything but an enthusiastic welcome. RIM on the other hand, has several highly anticipated devices still to come this year including the Storm 2, Bold 9020 (Onyx) and the Magnum. In a nut shell, both companies are well positioned to push that number up toward the 40 percent mark and possibly beyond before the year is out.
Beyond the dynamic duo that is RIM and Apple, Nokia is the only other player represented on the chart above showing a profit share that outreaches its market share and it still owns the lion’s share of each. As we reaffirmed last week however, all is not peachy up in Finland these days. And then we find Samsung and LG, two companies that combine to make up over 30 percent of the global cell phone market but only about 20 percent of the profits. Last and unfortunately least, there’s Motorola. Ouch, Moto.
This past Wednesday Apple reported a very solid quarter due to growing iPhone and iPod sales that provided enough revenue to diminish its waning personal computer sales. Unfortunately it looks like Microsoft had no such cushion. For the first time in the company’s storied 23-year history, Microsoft reported a year over year slide as Q3 FY09 revenue declined 6 percent to $13.65 billion. Net income slid as well, down a disheartening 32 percent YoY to $2.98 billion. While enterprise revenue remained stable in the quarter, the company cited “weakness in the global PC and Server markets” in rationalizing its poor Q3 performance. So when might things pick up in Redmond? Microsoft admittedly has a lot riding on Windows 7, beta versions of which have been received with open arms by developers and end users alike. With resoundingly positive feedback from beta testers so far, Microsoft could be able to revive stagnant sales on the back of its new OS. According to the company, Windows 7 is still on track for a release in FY10.