Apple report latest finances: Mac sales & margins up, iPod touch sales double

Apple have announced their fiscal Q4 2009 financial results, and it's been another successful three months for the company.  Anybody suggesting that Apple's tactics of selling relatively few expensive devices (rather than many cheap ones) will have some explaining to do in the face of these latest figures: Mac sales are up around 17-percent from the same period one year ago, while gross margin is up 36.6-percent.  That's helped the company reach $9.87bn in revenue, of which $1.67bn is profit (compared to $1.14bn profit in Q4 2008).

After the cut, slumping iPod sales and the promise of "really great new products" by Steve Jobs

While Mac sales are more than healthy, iPod sales continue to slide.  In fact, they're down 8-percent compared to the same period in 2008, although iPhone sales have risen 7-percent in the same comparison.  10.4m iPods were sold – encompassing classic, shuffle, nano and touch – while 7.4m iPhones changed hands.  However the bare figures don't tell the full story: 50-percent of iPod sales went to first-time buyers, rather than those upgrading from a previous model, while iPod touch sales have doubled.

Meanwhile, Steve Jobs is quoted as saying "We've got a very strong lineup for the holiday season and some really great new products in the pipeline for 2010", leading to speculation about the Apple Tablet and other devices.  Unfortunately the company wouldn't be led to explain any more about what these products might be.