Shares of Apple dipped slightly in after-hours trading Thursday after the company posted a quarterly earnings report that missed expectations despite a year-over-year increase in profits. While Business Insider noted that iPhone sales crushed it during the quarter, several other outlets focused on some of Apple’s shortcomings: TechCrunch looked at how the company is fighting revenue stagnation in Europe and Forbes asked why Apple didn’t sell more iPads in its fiscal fourth quarter, while The Verge noted that the profit margin for the iPad mini — which won’t be released for another week or so — is significantly below the company’s average of roughly 40 percent.
My colleague Erica Ogg took more of a comprehensive view tonight, documenting the hidden costs of Apple’s transition to mobile. A massive product-line refresh will be costly, Ogg notes, resulting in lesser margins per device — at least for a while.
But if I’m an Apple investor — and I’m not — I’m still pretty comfortable with the company’s mobile business. The iPhone remains the most iconic handset in a very crowded market, and it continues to dominate the high end of the market. And while some bargain-basement tablets like Amazon’s Kindle line have chipped away at the iPad’s market share, Apple’s tablet remains unchallenged at its price point.
I’m skeptical that the iPad mini will make much of a dent — it’s neither portable enough or affordable enough to find a big audience in my opinion — but the iPhone and the full-sized iPad are still selling very well. With Apple’s expertise in maintaining a top-notch supply chain, Cupertino has little to worry about in mobile for the foreseeable future.