Last month, I noted that the 5-year-old iPhone is already the most profitable product in the world. The iPhone, I estimated, is so profitable that it generates more profit than just about any other company on earth, not just product. In fact, new information suggests that the iPhone is so profitable that it is responsible for the vast majority of Apple's profits. Last week, in a lawsuit with Samsung, Apple was released documents that showed the relative gross profit margin for its iPhones and iPads. This information allows us to estimate, to an extent never before possible, just how much profit Apple derives from the iPhone. The iPad, meanwhile, likely accounts for almost a relatively paltry 10%-15% of Apple total profit--less than most people probably think. Working with Apple's financials can be confusing, because the company's fiscal year ends in September. The source of some of the reported numbers is a recent report by analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, the most influential Apple analyst on Wall Street. Let's start with the iPhone's revenue, both in absolute numbers and as a percent of Apple's total revenue. As you can see, in the past 6 years, Apple's iPhone has come to account for more than half of Apple's overall revenue. Now let's look at the likely profit contribution for the iPhone and Apple's other main product lines.
One assumption I am making that some analysts might quibble with is that the relative contribution percentages of gross profit for each product (profit after direct product costs) are the same as the relative contribution percentages for net profit (profit after all costs and taxes). Specifically, the lawsuit documents reveal that the iPhone had gross margins of 49%-58% from 2010-2012 (I've used 53%). When you apply these numbers to the revenue for each product, you get the gross-profit shares I described above.
The bottom line is that Apple's profits are much more dependent on the iPhone than most people probably think. If Apple's iPhone 5 is a monster hit, Apple has room to blow away Wall Street's current forecasts, especially in 2013.
The difference between these two scenarios would likely affect not only Apple's earnings, but the price investors will be willing to pay for those earnings.
I began writing these Personal Technology columns 20 years ago, in October 1991, with the aim of reviewing computers and other digital products for average, mainstream users.
In 1991, most consumer computers didn’t have built-in audio beyond just the ability to beep. So, this week, I decided to take a look back at some of the game-changing products that appeared in this column over the past two decades and propelled us from that primitive landscape to today’s interconnected digital world. Getting America Online: In May of 1992, I rated an obscure online service, America Online, as the best. Faster modems: Though it would be hardly recognized today, the external dial-up modem was a crucial device in connecting computers around the world.
Color digital camera: In 1994, the Apple QuickTake 100 could store up to 32 shots for a mere $700. The Web browser: The Internet had been around a long time, but in 1993 I noted it was still hard for average consumers to access. The slim laptop: In 1998, Sony set the standard for usable, thin and light laptops with its Vaio 505, a $2,000 wonder that came with a decent keyboard. The simple computer: Also in 1998, beleaguered Apple shook up the PC market with the iMac, a colorful, speedy, one-piece desktop computer that set up in a matter of minutes and was ready to surf the Internet. DVR: The next year, I reviewed two digital video recorders, including TiVo, which went on to become a verb, and to revolutionize TV viewing.
The iPod: Later that same year, Apple changed the music industry, and its own fortunes, with the $400 iPod, which held 1,000 songs in a device the size of a deck of cards.

The prototype smartphone: Also in 2001, Handspring, a company run by the founders of Palm, rolled out the Treo 180, which I declared the first decent hybrid of a PDA and phone. Legal music: In 2003, Apple introduced the iTunes music store, which gave consumers an easy, reasonably priced path to buying music, and again changed the industry. The e-book: There had been many failed attempts at an e-reader, but in late 2007, Amazon offered the Kindle, which finally made books digital. Android: In October 2008, T-Mobile and Google released the G1, the first smartphone to use the Android operating system—the principal competitor to the iPhone. The iPad: Many companies had tried and failed to create a popular tablet computer, but in April 2010, Apple succeeded with the iPad, which has spawned a host of apps, a gaggle of competitors and a new category of digital device. AllThingsD contains an archive of columns by Walt Mossberg and Katherine Boehret from The Wall Street Journal dating back to 2005.
In less that two weeks, and just a day before it fully takes on the Justice Department in court, Apple will be holding an event that will finally put to rest a couple of rumors that just won't die.
Early diagrams, both of the iPad itself as well as case accessories, revealed a few interesting holes that would later on shape the image of this regular sized tablet. The smaller iPad Pro would also be powered by the Apple A9X, the company's latest mobile processor designed for tablets. It is actually conceivable that Apple could make such a mini iPad Pro, and perhaps equally conceivable that it would indeed reveal one come 21st March. A 9.7-inch iPad Pro would most likely be Apple's confirmation of what market analysts like IDC have been predicting recently. As for worries that it could affect iPad Pro sales, it may have some negative influence, but probably not as much. Steve Jobs had no formal schooling in engineering, but still he is listed as the inventor or co-inventor on more than 200 US patents. Apple I (1976) - Apple's first product was a computer for hobbyists and engineers, made in small numbers.
Apple II (1977) - One of the first successful personal computers, the Apple II was designed as a mass-market product rather than something for engineers or enthusiasts.
NeXT computer (1989) - After being forced out of Apple, Jobs started a company that built a powerful workstation computer.
I am basing them on the "gross profit" percentages for iPhones and iPads revealed in the lawsuit documents.
This means that the company's financial and stock performance over the next couple of years will be highly correlated to the iPhone. So the difference between a "hit" and a "dud" iPhone 5 would likely be hundreds of dollars per share. Digital gadgets—then too often designed by techies for techies—have become essential to our lives, and much easier to use, even if we still need the Geek Squad and the Genius Bar more than we should. It was much smaller than its chief rivals at the time, CompuServe and Prodigy, but its use of a standard-looking graphical interface made it more attractive. In June 1993, I recommended a popular $200 model, the Sportster, from a company called U.S. The entire digital universe would be revolutionized by batteries that could last more than a day in heavy use.
Microsoft’s Kinect device for controlling its Xbox game console shows there is a future in controlling all devices via smart cameras that recognize faces and gestures. Later Treos sold by Palm, competed against the BlackBerry, which got its own phone functionality, but was mainly a corporate tool. In theory, those pins could be used to connect to other accessories but, so far, the only sanctioned type has been those keyboards. The iPad Pro is a great creative tool, especially for artists, as we ourselves experienced in our review.
It was the foundation for today's computer interfaces, but the Lisa was too expensive to be a commercial success.

It was also cheaper and faster and had the backing of a large advertising campaign behind it. The estimates of profit per product, meanwhile, are mine, and they're based on information that recently came out in the Samsung lawsuit.
Also, since I write for average consumers, the list is weighted toward consumer products, not gadgets for geeks or corporate use. But, in 1995, Microsoft caught up via Windows 95, cementing the victory of the graphical interface.
In January 1996, I hailed Netscape as the champion browser over Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.
It is a fusion of different media styles, different topics, different formats and different sources. Instead, it revealed the iPad Pro and, on the complete opposite end of the size spectrum, an iPad mini 4. The rationale for this camera is that you normally wouldn't take a photo using that huge slate.
Wouldn't a smaller, perhaps more affordable, iPad Pro steal would be buyers of the larger iPad Pro? While there will always be room for smaller, content consumption tablets like the iPad mini, "regular" sized tablets, those 9 inches and above, will be turning into 2-in-1 productivity machines. Artists and multimedia creators will pretty much be drawn to the larger screen, and perhaps larger storage space. Its software also lives on as the basis for today's Macintosh and iPhone operating system.
It was strikingly designed as a bubble of blue plastic that enclosed both the monitor and the computer. And then there's what would have been the iPad Air 3, but now referred to as the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Better late than never, they say, and, for a while, it seemed that Apple was indeed planning an iPad Air 3 for the first half of 2016.
Whether or not Apple puts out a proportionately smaller Pencil, however, is still up in the air. Apple should actually already be very aware of that trend, considering all the content made and even edited on its tablets. Price will, of course, always be a sticking point, but, then again, this is Apple we're talking about. Easy to set up, it captured the imagination just as people across the world were having their eyes opened to the benefits of the internet and considering getting their first home computer. But then the rumors took a very different turn, one that could prove to be both a popular and unpopular one at the same time.
It allowed Apple to implement a dynamic audio system that automatically adjusted which speaker pair was use, depending on the orientation of the tablet. So it is intriguing that rumors put an iPhone 6s camera, with a 12 megapixel sensor, on that rear side.
It definitely makes sense to give its main tablet line the same productive capabilities of the iPad Pro. If you think about it, it makes almost no sense if a tablet would have those four speakers without this feature, so it was becoming likely that the "iPad Air 3" would have it as well. It might even have an LED flash, hinting that Apple might really want you to take pictures or record videos with this. In the same way that might not make sense to put those same features on a more wallet friendly iPad mini.

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