Reseller defends Apple financials

Reseller defends Apple financials

One of Apple Australia's loyal resellers has stepped up to the plate to defend the vendor after its US parent yesterday reported a $195 million net loss for the first fiscal quarter.

Apple attributes the poor performance to the weak revenue being reported or forecast by many other computer makers, and it is this argument that Next Byte director Adam Steinhardt has adopted.

"The slowdown has been consistent across the whole IT industry. It's been a pretty ordinary year for everyone and Apple is simply following a worldwide trend," he said.

An Apple spokesperson said figures for the Australian market will not be released until the end of January, when IDC publishes its report on vendor sales and performance.

Apple warned early last month that first-quarter revenue would likely fall about $600 million short of its original projections. Total sales for the quarter, which ended December 30, came in at $1 billion, matching the revised estimate disclosed when the warning was issued.

The revenue figure was down 57 per cent from the level reported for the same period a year earlier.

Meanwhile, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has voiced optimism about a reduction in channel inventories, the planned release of new systems and the Mac OS X operating system.

And like Jobs, Next Byte's Steinhardt harbours great hopes for the Mac OS X operating system due for release in a couple of months. "OS X is created for the year 2000, as opposed to Windows which is back in the 80s," he said.

He refutes the suggestion that Apple is losing what IDC reports is a 4.3 per cent grip on the PC market, touting the recently released titanium-encased G4 notebook as an example of the vendors' superior style, price competitiveness and high performance range.

"Apple is a romantic company, it's a bit like our relationship with Shane Warne," says Steinhardt. "When he's on the pitch and doing a great job we all love him, but when he steps on the street and does one thing wrong we condemn him straight away. Apple's had one bad quarter in ten."

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