Apple “happy” with AT & T; declines comment on Pre

Thu, 04/23/2009 - 8:05am
Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week

Apple dispelled rumors that it its exclusive relationship with AT&T could come to a close during a conference call with analysts yesterday when it reported its second-quarter results.

“[AT&T has] done a very good job with [the] iPhone, they’ve put the full force and weight of their company behind it, it’s a major strategic thrust for them … We’re very happy with the relationship that we have and do not have a plan to change it,” said Apple COO Tim Cook in response to an analyst’s question. “Verizon is on CDMA, and we’ve shown from the beginning of the iPhone to focus on one phone for the whole of the world. When you do that, you really go down the GSM route, because CDMA doesn’t really have a life to it after a point in time.”

Apple sold 3.8 million iPhones in its second quarter as it expanded sales into new markets in Brazil, Russia and India. The company has 8,000 retail outlets in those three countries and is working to bring storefronts into China within the next year. In the second quarter, international sales accounted for almost half of the company’s sales.

Apple refused to comment on the upcoming release of iPhone competitor the Palm Pre, saying only that “we think [competition] makes all of us better as long as other companies invent their own stock,” said Cook, according to the earnings call transcript courtesy of Seeking Alpha.

The relatively mute stance was in sharp contrast to the previous quarter’s conference call, when the company made thinly veiled litigious threats about its intellectual property rights.

The company widely dismissed notions that it would get into the booming netbook market but didn’t write off the segment altogether. “When I look at what is being sold in the netbook space today, I see cramped keyboards, terrible software, junky hardware, very small screens, and just not a consumer experience, and not something that we would put the Mac brand on, quite frankly,” Cook said. Still, he added that “if we find a way where we can deliver an innovative product that really makes a contribution, then we will do that, and we have some interesting ideas in the space.”

Apple posted a 15 percent increase in profit, which reached $1.2 billion, or $1.33 per diluted share, compared with last year’s figure of $1.1 billion, or $1.16 per diluted share. Sales rose 8.7 percent to $8.2 billion in the second quarter, ended March 28, compared with $7.5 billion last year.

More Broadband Direct 04/23/09:
•  Canoe Ventures in spotlight at House hearing
•  Cablevision launches mobile version of Web portal
•  Netgear's Q1 profit drops
•  Amdocs Q2 profit falls less than analysts feared
•  VoIP peering network's features enriched
•  XCast Labs intros new digital voice, video platform
•  Apple "happy" with AT&T; declines comment on Pre
•  Broadband Briefs for 04/23/09



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