Tech reporters were quick to weigh in with their two cents on, maybe the most surprising part of which was the rare appearance of CEO Steve Jobs on the call.
Here's what a few of them had to say:
When Steve Jobs got on the phone to answer Wall Street's questions Tuesday afternoon during Apple's earnings call, it was a signal that Apple knows investors are scared. The last time I recall the Apple CEO doing that was eight years ago, when Apple missed its numbers in one of the first signs that the dot-com bust would hammer Silicon Valley.
--Jon Fortt, Fortune
With $25 billion in cash and short-term securities stored away on its balance sheet, Apple is in a uniquely comfortable position from which to weather the econaclypse. And perhaps a uniquely opportunistic one, as well. Could this mean that Apple is considering an acquisition--a major acquisition? It's hard to say, but the fact that Jobs dropped such a hint at all is certainly interesting. Perhaps it's time for that long-rumored merger with Adobe.
--John Paczkowski, All Things Digital
Wired.com cited analysts who said Apple is particularly vulnerable to a recession because its computers generally come with pretty high price tags, writing:
There will be a lot of people looking at a lot of stuff at the Apple Store, and they'll probably come out with [iPod] nanos or shuffles," Endpoint Technologies analyst Roger Kay told Wired. "That's what people are going to feel like they're going to afford this year."
--Brian X. Chen, Epicenter
No one actually believes Apple's "guidance." For years, it's been shown to lowball the actual number so it can surprise Wall Street, a maneuver that no longer surprises anyone. This has reduced Apple's quarterly earnings call to an exercise in which its chief financial officer pretends he's not lying, and bank analysts pretend they believe him. No wonder Apple CEO Steve Jobs avoids the charade altogether.
--Owen Thomas, Valleywag
Apple has transformed itself from a computing company to a personal digital devices company, seemingly overnight. In this quarter, a front-rank mobile phone company clearly emerged. The GAAP numbers show it. The non-GAAP numbers show it even more.
--Tom Steinert-Threlkeld, Between the Lines
Steinert-Threlkeld also has a nice breakdown of why the fact that Apple reported both GAAP and non-GAAP numbers matters.