Apple Inc. will report its fourth quarter earnings after the markets close this afternoon. Apple's fiscal starts in October and ends in September.
Earlier today Digitimes reported that its senior analyst James Wong says Apple will report that it sold around 13 million iPads in the quarter, a healthy 36.8 percent growth, but still below its own internal goals due to the sluggish economy. Wong also projects that iPad competitors will post disappointing growth over just over 10 percent.
Revenue for the quarter is expected to be just below $30 billion, but what really boggles the mind is what Apple could do for total sales in Q1 2012 – that is, this year's holiday sales season. With a new iPhone out in the market, a still much in demand iPad 2, and brisk selling MacBook Airs, the company may be one of the few to blow out its holiday sales numbers in the middle of a weak economy.
Every time Apple reports its numbers I am reminded of the brilliant move made by executives at B2B publisher Cahners (later renamed Reed Business Information) who decided in 2000 (or so) to replace all their Macs with PCs because "Apple was going out of business". The art directors all complained, but since the media executives knew better, it was decided that buying hardware from Apple was a bad investment.