I ran out of verbs to describe this unprecedented run of extraordinary quarterly results for Apple, so I used the Thesaurus widget and have a few more for the next couple of quarters. On Tuesday, the analysts were predicting under $8 billion in sales and profits in the neighborhood of $1.09 a share. The actual results were $8.16 billion in sales and a remarkable $1.33 per share in profit which translates to $1.21 billion of profit for the three month period of Jan – Mar. This almost magical American business success story continues with Apple posting the best non-holiday quarter in terms of revenue and earnings in the company history in the middle of the most severe economic downturn in decades!

The news is even better if you consider that iPhone (and AppleTV) sales are not even booked in their entirety at the time of sale but rather the sales income is spread over 24 months. If you include those sales in this quarter the news is even better. Using this non-GAAP accounting, Apple posted sales of $9.06 billion and profit of $1.66 billion. Anyway you slice it, this is phenomenal performance for Apple.

Here’s more details from the quarterly report and the conference call with analysts:

Macs Apple sold 2.22 million Macs in the three months! That is made up of 818,000 desktops and 1.4 million MacBooks and MacBook Pro.

The rest of the industry saw a 7% decline in unit sales, although that is a bit misleading because the cheap netbooks are included in this number – the actual number of personal computers decline is likely to be much higher if you remove the netbooks that can hardly be called a personal computer. Apple saw a 3% decline. If you look at the sell-through numbers, however, Apple Mac sales were flat. Consider that a success in this economy!

iPods Apple sold an astounding 11.013 million iPods in this quarter that accounted for $1.67 billion in revenue. While a huge number, this is down significantly (over 50%) from the holiday quarter, however, compared to 2nd quarter of 2008 unit sales are up and revenue is down only 8%.

Apple reported that their market share of the MP3 market is steady at 70%. They also reported that sales of the iPod Touch are off the charts and called it a runaway hit. This is driven by the app store which is rapidly reaching its 1 billionth download.

iPhones I’d like to say “who cares” since Apple maintains their silly policy of not allowing their independent Apple Specialists to sell the iPhone (but allowing Walmart and Best Buy! !#@$%) but the iPhone is a very large and growing sector of Apple’s business and frankly, I love my iPhone!

Apple sold 3.8 million iPhones in the quarter resulting in $1.52 billion in revenue. This is up 22% in revenue and up 123 percent in units and 302 percent in revenue year over year. Understandably, it was down 12 percent in units from the holiday quarter.

Apple hopes to break into the China market this year and remains committed to AT&T and the GSM network.

The two biggest questions were understandably not answered directly in the call. With regard to Steve’s return to the helm at Apple, Peter Oppenheimer simply said “We look forward to Steve Jobs returning at the end of June”. While Steve’s officially on medical leave, my guess is that he is not far from the action at Apple.

The other question was all about netbooks which is the latest buzz. These internet devices are all the rage right now because of the cheap price point. Apple pointed out that’s not all that is cheap – Tim Cook said:

“When I’m looking at what’s sold in the Netbook market, I see cramped keyboards, junky hardware, very small screen, bad software. Not a consumer experience that we would put the Mac brand on.”

He went on to say that if a customer is looking for a small portable device that does browsing and email, we have it- it is called the iPhone or the iPod Touch. Being careful to neither announce unannounced products nor to close any doors, Tim said that if Apple finds a way to deliver an truly innovative product that really makes a contribution, that they would do that.

The Apple story continues and it is a story of innovation combined with careful expert business and supply chain management to build strength that is the envy of many and leaders to all including companies outside of the computer industry. Our hats are off and paws up in appreciation to the Apple management team for a job well done! Keep it up! And by the way, let us sell the iPhone, okay?

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