ITS financial results released on Oct 18 were sparkling. They sold more Macs and iPhones but fewer iPads than estimated.
That gave them a record revenue of US$20.3 billion (S$26.5 billion) and a fourth-quarter profit of 70 per cent over the same quarter a year ago.
Initially its shares sputtered a bit. One key issue the market was unhappy about was that only 4.19 million iPads were sold compared to 4.7 million forecasted by stock analysts.
But the share price has recovered to US$318 in Nasdaq. Apple's market cap is now US$290.5 billion, more than
Google's (US$196.9 billion).
So what now for Apple? Can it reproduce the sterling performance next quarter, and the quarters after that?
Much depends on whether there can be new game changing product like the iPad or an iPhone.
Well, what if Apple extends its App Store to its desktop computers? Or if the iOS is developed such that two or more iPads can be joined together as an extended desktop to play Angry Birds?
That would be awesome.
Apple could also improve its social networking engine in iTunes to improve stickiness. Its recent Ping announcement in iTunes some weeks ago had no traction. In fact, it is one Apple product/service that was not successful.
With almost US$5 billion generated from this fourth-quarter profit, Apple has deep pockets. It may use this money to acquire companies or invest in companies that can help it improve social networking in its iOS ecosystem.
This is the iTunes-iBookstore-App Store chain that supplies the content for its iDevices such as the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Apple said in June this year that 100 million iDevices have been sold. Getting this community to interact through social networking would be among its priorities.
So watch out for Apple's announcement on Oct 20. It will not be a new company that it has acquired, but
certainly it will be about new Macs and maybe an improved Safari - its Mac operating system - that can also use apps.