Apple Releases Dazzling Sales Numbers, Intel-powered iMac and MacBook Pro, iLife Suite (AAPL)

| About: Apple Inc. (AAPL)
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At Macworld yesterday, Apple released preliminary F1Q06 (to December 31) sales figures that topped nearly everyone's estimates, then pulled the veil on a host of new products. Apple stock jumped over 6% on the news, reaching a new 52-week high of 80.85. Here's Steve Jobs' keynote on video (Quicktime 7 required). And here's a summary of each item and responses from analysts -- financial and tech:

The numbers: $5.7 billion in sales during the holiday quarter; 14 million iPods -- nearly 3x growth y/y; over $1 billion in sales from the Apple store; 8 million+ iTunes videos since the Oct. launch.

Shannon Cross (Soleil-Cross): 'Apple blew away revenue and iPod estimates.. and if you extrapolate the numbers, they will likely beat EPS (earnings per share) estimates as well.'

Robbert Van Batenburg (Louis Capital Markets) on Apple's market valuation: 'Apple has separated itself from the group by offering a premium product.. [Apple stock] should command a premium.'

Gene Munster (Piper Jaffray): 'The iPod number was shocking.'

Tim Bajarin (Creative Strategies): 'I think they can sell another 32 million iPods this year... I don't see the iPod phenomeon slowing down one bit.'

Michael Gartenberg (Jupiter Research): 'Apple clearly had a runaway fourth quarter -- 14 million is an incredible number for them to have sold. ... It clearly solidifies their position, not just as the leading player, but the dominant player.'

iLife '06 Suite/iWeb:

USA Today: the package 'sells for $79 but is free with new Macs... the software includes tools for editing movies, digital photographs and homegrown music. A new component — iWeb — helps users easily create and upload websites, blogs and podcasts.'

Owen Thomas (Business 2.0): '[The blogging and photo software is] bad news for the likes of Six Apart and Odeo, startups whose services help users create blogs and podcasts, and for FilmLoop, which broadcasts users' photos to subscribers. It also puts Apple in competition with Google and Yahoo, which both offer blog-creating and photo-sharing software.'

Michael Gartenberg (Jupiter Research): 'The iLife announcement was huge. They are capitalizing on all of the integration and technologies. They have taken the Web buzzwords and made an end-to-end solution that anyone can use.'

Intel-powered Macs:

Carl Howe (Blackfriars Communications): 'what I thought was most interesting was Jobs' strategy of pre-empting his own delivery date for Intel systems of June 2006. By over-delivering on that promise in six months instead of twelve, Jobs has sidestepped the biggest obstacle critics posed for this processor transition -- the Osborne effect of drying up demand for old products in advance of new product availability... Apple should see no significant dip in its computer sales because of the processor transition, and may in fact see a boost because of reduced uncertainty... Jobs has again proved that he's the best marketer in high-technology.'

Ted Schadler (Forrester): 'Intel’s and Apple’s roadmaps coincide wonderfully, which means this partnership will pay off handsomely for both companies. But today, Intel wins big. It now has a second PC brand to align with, thus distancing itself a bit from Microsoft and propelling itself into the digital home with the new entertainment king of that hill.'

Nathan Brookwell
(Insight64): 'PowerPC to Intel (processors) will be a painful transition. Users will even have some pain when they run old PowerPC programs under emulation. They'll have to buy new (emulation) versions when they become available.'

Carl Longino: 'I find the lack of support for mobile data disappointing. It would have been great to see an option for built-in EV-DO, UMTS/HSDPA or even EDGE modems.'

Gadgetophile on Intel Duo Core PowerBooks: 'As a long time PC user and PC software developer, I can sum this all up in three words: I am tempted. Never before, but now I am tempted.'

AAPL 1-yr chart: