Amazon Posts $13.18 Billion Revenue for Q1 2012


Leena Rao reports for Techcrunch:

Amazon just reported earnings for the first quarter of 2012. Net sales increased 34% to $13.18 billion in the first quarter, compared with $9.86 billion in first quarter 2011. Net income decreased 35% to $130 million in the first quarter, or $0.28 per diluted share, compared with net income of $201 million, or $0.44 per diluted share, in first quarter 2011. The company beat Wall Street expectations; analysts expected a profit of $0.07 per share on revenue of $12.9 billion for the quarter.

As with Apple, Amazon has utterly shattered Wall Street predictions, thus further undermining the clairvoyance of various analysts.

Jeff Bezos, above many of his peers, has demonstrated an acute awareness of what it takes to succeed in the current technological climate. With heavy re-investment in recent years, Wall Street analysts have been quick to point out low profits and high expenditure, but few have taken a moment to consider the long-term ramifications of such maneuvering.

Thanks to Mr. Bezos’ ability, Amazon has built a competitive, growing, and stable infrastructure, thereby ensuring business growth for the future. While this may have shaken the confidence of various near-sighted analysts from time to time, the fact is that Amazon is doing very well.

Unlike the vast majority of technology mainstays, Amazon appears to be one of the most aspirational, driven, and promising companies on the market. Built upon sound ideals, good business, and an avid penchant for infrastructural investment, the future looks good for the Seattle-based retailer.

Although income is down, I tend not to view this as a sign of things to come. The retail market is volatile, particularly once the Western holiday season has passed. Given the quantity of re-investment into the company’s framework, I expect Amazon to unveil plenty of income-generating initiatives in the near future. I do not wish to sound like an apologist but, Bezos’ evident business acumen in mind, I find it difficult to feel pessimistic about Amazon’s prospects.

As I’ve said before, competition is a very good thing and, I imagine, Amazon is going to continue to encroach on some otherwise steadfast marketplaces in the coming years.

Amazon’s press release is available here.

Why Was Wall Street Surprised by Apple's Performance?

Apple's Revenue

Responding to Wall Street’s near-sighted pessimism regarding Apple’s financial performance, Horace Dediu has penned an outstanding article outlining the evident ignorance of various analysts. Following an informative (humorously so) explanation of how the calendar year operates, Horace writes:

What Wall Street seems to have missed is that the gifting season is a global event spanning into January. In other words, buyers of iPhones aren’t concentrated in one part of the planet and they don’t all celebrate one single gifting festival.

The reason lies in the way the Earth is tilted and the way the continents are arranged upon it. So perhaps a better understanding of astronomy and geography would have helped investors make decisions during the past few weeks. I suggest remedial lessons for those who missed this.

Although I have yet to comment on Apple’s phenomenal financial performance, I believe my comments are rather redundant in their logical obviousness.

The company continues to shatter Wall Street expectations, sell millions upon millions of devices, and absorb an ever-increasing number of end-users. Even the $399 iPad 2 is finding sustained success. Or, more simply, Apple has managed to achieve a near 100% revenue increase over the year-ago quarter.

To visualize the numbers, I suggest looking at MacStories brilliant graphical coverage (as pictured above) of the results.

Despite bluster otherwise, Apple is not on a path toward collapse. Boasting a continuously improving catalog of products, an awareness of the shifting landscape of the computing industry, and an indefatigable sense of self-control, Apple is not going to embarrassingly implode. Quite the contrary, Apple’s successes are utterly sustainable at this current juncture and, with many new products and services on the horizon, I imagine this state of affairs will remain true for quite some time.

There are many who love to hate Apple but, simply put, such a perspective is antiquated. Whether you enjoy Apple products or not, the company’s success is undeniable, and should not be subject to such near-sighted analyses.

Dell Is "No Longer a PC Company"

Following last week's dismal earnings results, Brad Anderson, president of Dell's enterprise group, stated that Dell no longer exists as a personal computing company. Nicole Kobie reports for PC Pro:

Speaking at the launch of new enterprise hardware at an event in Twickenham, West London today, the president of Dell's enterprise solution group Brad Anderson said: "We're no longer a PC company, we're an IT company."

"Dell's changing very quickly," he added. "We are dramatically changing the make-up of our business."

"It's no longer about shiny boxes, it's about IT solutions [that let companies drive efficiencies]," he added.

Although the words come from Dell's enterprise president, the sentiment is relatively unsurprising. Dell has lost its touch in the hardware world in recent years, but maintains a firm grip on the enterprise market. Capitalizing on this remaining stronghold, Dell is looking to pivot into sustained relevance from an environment characterized by antiquated ideas and waning marketshare.

Dell is evidently planning to maintain a portion of its consumer hardware business but, with this acknowledgement, Anderson has publicly stated that the consumer market will not be its focus. 

Considering there is a generation of people still operating under the perception of Dell as a great source for affordable computers, this shift away from the consumer industry may pose some interesting questions for the average consumer.

(Via The Verge)

The Vanguard of Antiquated Ideas

HP and Dell inhabit a reality unfamiliar to our own.

Garish LEDs, imperceptible hardware iterations, lazy knock-offs, and woefully uninspiring product design characterize a marketplace that, for whatever reason, is at a rapidly increasing disconnect from the average consumer.

Although processors have quickened and storage increased, Dell and HP have changed little since the days of beige boxes and heavy monitors. Their tactics remain gimmicky, their perception of the average consumer patronizing and inaccurate. Bereft of a connective ecosystem, products seem to slip into the marketplace like sewage into a filthy lake - the products lifelessly merging into one muddied, unattractive and unwelcome mess.

I'd like to think that following their dismal earnings, HP (44 percent decline) and Dell (18 percent decline) might take up a reflective spot at the edge of the lake and cast an introverted gaze upon their business practices, but I imagine they won't. Windows 8 - the product of revisiting outdated design paradigms and consumer disconnects - might be a good opportunity for change but, realistically, I doubt much will change.

In an imperceptible market connected by a loose string of bloated software and little forethought, Dell and HP stand as the stalwart vanguard of antiquated ideas - the two that simply refuse to acknowledge the palpable winds of change. Sooner or later, reality will catch up to them.

"Apple Sold More iOS Devices in 2011 Than All Macs Sold in 28 Years"

Graph courtesy of AsymcoHorace Dedieu:

The iOS platform as a whole reached 316 million cumulative units at the end of last year. The iOS platform overtook the OS X platform in under four years and more iOS devices were sold in 2011 (156 million) than all the Macs ever sold (122 million).

The statistics emerging following Apple's monstrous Q1 earnings continue to blow me away.