Subba’s Serendipitous moments

April 26, 2009

The last quarter — Apple surges, but Microsoft declines

There is enough literature comparing these 2 companies. Apple has finally managed to steal the thunder from Microsoft not just for products but financial results as well.

The quarter ending March 2009 is significant both for Apple and Microsoft and may be the real inflection point.

Here’s news about Microsoft:

Microsoft reported the first ever drop in quarterly profits in its history.

Revenues in Windows software was down 15% and this can be attributed to a number of reasons:

The traditional purchases of PCs and laptops were weak due to the slowdown in the economy.

Netbooks the new category that has seen the biggest surge in 2008 uses Windows XP (a stripped down version of Windows XP Professional) contributing to lesser revenues. It is clear that Vista is a failure and Microsoft will have to wait till System 7 to create customer interest.

The Microsoft Office is rarely deployed on Netbooks further eroding Microsoft’s revenue base. Microsoft’s Office 2007 has again received only lukewarm response. In fact, most users are happy with Windows 2003.

The Microsoft online business continues to lose money and it is unlikely that they will see any turnaround, notwithstanding how the alliance with Yahoo pans out. While the explanation is weak ad spending, Google has not been impacted much.

Still Microsoft sits on a cash hoard of $ 25 billion despite the fact that net cash from operations in the quarter declined by 16% this quarter.

Microsoft has begun retrenching. It has already laid off 5000 workers and based on the rumor mill, this may double in the next 2 quarters.

The same calendar quarter, but Apple produces the best non-holiday quarter in its history

A 3% decline in Mac sales, and that too in the high end “Pro” line because of reduced spending by the US education sector due to economic slowdown. The consumer spend for Mac seems to be not affected at all.

The iPod continued to grow at 3% with a 70% market share in the U.S and also a dominant market share in all other countries.

The iPhone had a stellar quarter with a 121% growth.The iPhone is now sold in over 80 countries and 21 million units have been shipped.

Apple’s remarkable achievement was the AppStore with over 35,000 apps and surpassing the 1 billion downloads in about 6 months time.

Apple sits on a cash hoard of $29 billion and clearly has no specific plans with the cash.

Well, the lesson is Apple continued to innovate not just around products and technology, but around business models. Its App Store is now the benchmark for software applications that can be downloaded.

1 Comment »

  1. can’t help but brought in google in the picture. google sits pretty at a market cap of 123B and net cash of $17.8 billion (as of March 31, 2009, cash, cash equivalents, and short-term marketable securities). this is the first time they haven’t grown over the last quarter since its listing. it’s also the first time they haven’t had double digit growth over the previous year (y-o-y growth was 6%). their quarterly revenue actually shrank (3% over q4 08) in q1 09. deceleration continues, and year-over-year growth now only 6%. reacceleration within next two quarters seems quite unlikely considering the continuing recession and ad-spending scenario.shrinking revenues from google owned-sites (which contributes to 67% of google’s revenue)and google’s partner sites were major reason for causing the slump. should that be a concern for the giant? however, one things they managed much better in spite of lower revenue is to boost profit through various cost-cutting measures.

    will be keen to hear your thoughts on google in comparison to apple & microsoft.

    Comment by Krishna Baidya — April 27, 2009 @ 11:15 am | Reply

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