Apple announced its earnings and revenue for the fourth quarter of its fiscal year today, and in news that won't surprise those who either monitor the stock market or who own an iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Macbook (um, that would be me) revealed that the company's financial standing is strong - record-breaking strong, that is.
Apple posted a record-setting revenue of $20.34 billion and quarterly profit of $4.31 billion in the fourth quarter. In comparison, Apple posted revenue of $12.21 for the third quarter of 2010.
As we recently reported, the iPad is now the consumer electronic device with the fastest adoption rate ever, but iPad sales were only one part of the sales figures Apple touted today. Most notably the iPhone sales this quarter were up 91% year-over-year. Here's the breakdown for the sales of the major Apple devices this quarter: 3.89 million Macs, 14.1 million iPhones, 9.05 million iPods, and 4.19 million iPads.
But earnings reports aren't just a time for companies to tout their sales, revenue and general awesomeness, and Steve Jobs proved no different today, making a number of statements about flash ("Flash memory?" said Jobs), the future of the tablet market, and the question of "open" versus "closed" systems.
Below we have posted the audio from today's earnings call where Jobs states his mind about a number of these issues, most notably what distinguishes the Apple approach from that of Google and Android: "We think the open versus closed is just a smokescreen to try and hide the real issue, which is: What's best for the customer?"
What's best for the customer, in Jobs's mind, is of course, Apple.