Apple’s no good very bad RECORD SHATTERING quarter

Apple reported sales of $55 billion for its fourth-quarter, and a profit of $13 billion.

That’s THIRTEEN BILLION. $13,078,000,000, to be more precise. It’s the second-highest quarterly profit in U.S. history.

As Tim Cook pointed out on Apple’s conference call, the company sold 10 iOS devices per second last quarter.

So, you’d think Wall Street would be like this:

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Here’s how investors actually reacted:

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Apple shares are down 11% after-hours. Tomorrow’s opening trade will probably be gruesome.

Now, to be fair, investors have legit concerns that Apple’s growth is slowing. Apple’s margins are shrinking, and there’s no sign yet of a new, next magical “it will sell ZILLIONS” device on the horizon.

But still. I find it astonishing that profit of THIRTEEN BILLION can be considered a total disaster. -Stacy

How Apple calculates Tim Cook’s salary

Tim Cook took home a cool $4.2 million this year, according to a regulatory filing Apple submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday.

Compared to the $1 annual salary Steve Jobs used to make, Cook would seem to be doing pretty well for himself. But Apple claims Cook is woefully underpaid.

Cook’s annual salary was boosted to $1.4 million this past year, and he earned all of his eligible cash bonus — 200% of his salary, or $2.8 million. When determining Cook’s pay, Apple said it considered its “financial results,  Mr. Cook’s responsibilities as CEO,” and the amount he makes compared to “CEOs at peer companies.”

Who are those peer companies? A few of the direct competitors you’d expect (Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard), some giant tech companies (Oracle, Cisco, Intel and IBM), Apple’s wireless partners (AT&T, Verizon, and Qualcomm), and a bunch of media giants (Comcast, DirecTV, News Corp. Disney, and CNNMoney parent company Time Warner). 

In calculating Cook’s salary, Apple included more media companies in its comparison this year, adding DirecTV and Viacom, and tossing out Texas Instruments. Is Apple TV on its way? Hmmm…

Despite giving Cook a 50% raise, from $900,000 in 2011, Apple noted that its CEO’s pay “remains significantly below the median annual cash compensation level for CEOs at peer companies.”

Don’t feel too bad for Tim, though. Last year, Cook received a pay package — filled with incentives that vest in 2016 and 2021 — currently worth more than $500 million.

This should exist: Apple iTorch upgrade plan

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photo by p.Gordon

We’re upgrading a bunch of gizmos to iOS 6 today, including some (ancient! antique!) iPhone 3 GS phones. 

"When did Apple become the patron saint of backward compatibility?" I asked Dave. I mean, they’re still selling and supporting the two-generations-old iPhone 4. My impression had always been that Steve Jobs would have loved to push a button and immolate all old devices the moment a new one was launched.

Then Dave and I realized: Hey, Apple could sell this service. Call it iTorch. For $99 a year, Apple will nuke your old iThings the moment a new one is released. In exchange, you’ll be guaranteed a pre-sale spot in the very first round of shipments of the new iToy — no languishing for a month like those suckers who waited a whole three hours to order. 

C’mon, Apple, announce this. Take the stock to $1,000. -Stacy

This is why tech companies need to stop having an event every time they make something new

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This is from the registration form for a Motorola/Verizon event next Wednesday afternoon in NYC - if you can’t see it, it says “*If you’re attending an event at 548 West 22nd Street in the morning, would you like transportation from that location to Gotham Hall?”
See, there’s also a Nokia/Microsoft event in the city that morning. Motorola doesn’t want to use the phrase “a Nokia event” so they browsed their thesaurus to change it to “an event.” There’s also an Amazon event the next day. You might say they’re all trying to show off new products before the big Apple event the following week. It’s tech event overload.

Which makes me wonder, do companies really need to have an event/presser every time they launch a new phone or tablet? They’re basically throwing themselves a party for doing their job and then inviting the press along to confirm (and live blog!) that yes, they are still doing their job and yes, they will continue to make money by creating and selling new products that are “the most innovative and fastest/most powerful _______ yet.” 

Having an event for every new product is the equivalent of giving all the four and five-year olds in Snoopy soccer a trophy just for being there.

Here’s Dave at Mobile World Congress this past February, saying Samsung’s strategy was “throwing spaghetti at the wall.” Which is pretty true. And you know what? I don’t need to come over for dinner every time you make spaghetti. -Matt

Did Verizon just leak the fact that the iPhone 5 will be LTE?

In a press release sent around to reporters that cover the wireless sector today, Verizon Wireless announced a new technology called “Viewdini.”

The 4G-LTE-only service “brings the power of Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network to the screen by streamlining access to videos from a wide range of content providers, including cable operators, websites and other popular video sources,” the company said.

Then it said something curious: “Viewdini is available to Verizon Wireless customers with 4G LTE-enabled Android™ devices, with support for other operating systems coming soon.”

What other operating systems would that be, exactly? 

It could possibly be Windows Phone, but Verizon’s not expected to support Microsoft’s OS until the WP8/Apollo update in the fall. It could be talking about BlackBerry, but… okay, it’s not talking about BlackBerry.

So you heard it here first (okay, that’s not remotely true): The next iPhone will be LTE-capable. Cool! -David