Both Apple and Google reported earnings last week, additionally offering up some revealing information on their respective iPhone and Android mobile efforts. Apple reported strong first quarter profits on the strength of best-ever sales for its iPod portable music device and accompanying iTunes download storefront, with Q1 profits jumping to $1.61 billion from $1.58 billion a year earlier--revenue increased to $10.17 billion year-over-year from $7.9 billion. Apple sold 22.7 million iPods during the quarter, up 3 percent from a year earlier, while consumers purchased 4.36 million iPhone 3Gs during the holiday period, down from 6.9 million phones the previous quarter but close to double the 2.3 million iPhones sold in the year-ago quarter. Apple reports the total number of applications available for download via the App Store virtual storefront now tops the 15,000 mark--iPhone and iPod touch users have downloaded more than 500 million applications in all.
As for Google, the web services giant posted a 68 percent drop in fourth quarter profits, blamed in part on its investment in AOL, but sales remained strong despite the economic downturn thanks to the web services giant's search advertising business and recent cost-cutting efforts. Google reported net income of $382 million, down from $1.21 billion in Q4 2007--revenues increased at an 18 percent annual rate to $5.7 billion, down 31 percent quarter-over-quarter. "Search query growth was strong, revenues were up in most verticals, and we successfully contained costs," said Google CEO Eric Schmidt in a prepared statement. "It's unclear how long the global downturn will last, but our focus remains on the long term, and we'll continue to invest in Google's core search and ads business as well as in strategic growth areas such as display, mobile, and enterprise."
Google senior vice president of product management Jonathan Rosenberg said during Thursday's earnings call that T-Mobile USA's G1, the first handset based on the Android mobile OS, has "done very well," and there are more Android-powered phones in the works. Schmidt later said that Google has already seen billions of page impressions via the G1, while Google CFO Patrick Pitchette said the company's Android Market virtual application storefront now offers about 800 apps. Android Market launched in October 2008--earlier this month, Google reiterated promises to allow developers to begin selling premium mobile applications through the storefront, confirming premium Android apps will launch sometime in the imminent future.
For more on Google's Q4 report:
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