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Apple Australia’s $300m iPhone boom

The Australian launch of Apple’s iPhone and other lines in 2008 delivered the company’s local division a whopping $300 million revenue boom, new financial documents revealed this week.

Apple’s 2008 financial statements, submitted to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in March, details the company’s rapid growth in a year that saw it open its flagship George Street store in Sydney, as well as in Chatswood and also Melbourne.

Technology analysts firms IDC and Gartner have both noted Apple’s growing share of the laptop market, which sits around 5 per cent. IDC also estimated that Apple shipped about 125,000 iPhones to Australia in the first two and a half months after the device went on sale on 11 July last year, adding that it accounted for 5.8 per cent of the Australian phone market.

Revenues grew 34 per cent on last year’s total of $846 million to reach $1.16 billion, netting it a gross profit in 2008 of $118 million — up from $105 million in 2007 — and after-tax profits of $35 million, which were up from $20.9 million.

Since Apple’s 2006 report to ASIC the company has also doubled its local headcount from 322 to 629, however, compared to 2007 it still managed to keep a lid on staffing costs, which rose just $6 million from $22.6 million last year to $28 million in 2008.

The big question is how much impact Apple’s 3G iPhone had on the financial results, though since the documents only cover the first three months of revenue since the product’s release this remains unclear.

While Australia remains a growing market for the company, it is still dwarfed by the US, which despite dire analyst predictions reported first quarter 2009 revenues of US$10 billion. Apple’s chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer noted it was the strongest the company had ever recorded.

The release of new products such as the iPhone 3G into Australia and NZ contributed to the success

Apple Australia ASIC report

Oppenheimer, who is registered as one of three local directors, including managing director, Anthony King, and director of finance, Paul Whittingham, noted in its ASIC filing that “momentum in growth experienced during 2007 continues”, with the only product to gain a mention was the iPhone 3G.

“The release of new products such as the iPhone 3G into Australia and NZ contributed to the success,” the director’s report states.

“During the financial year, focus on operating expense and asset management continued in the strong increase in operating profit and liquidity of the company and the group.”

The results for Australia may even be stronger than the comparison to last year’s figures suggest. Apple’s 2008 financial statement was the first time it has excluded sales from New Zealand. Apple reported that its NZ revenues are now reported in the Apple Sales NZ entity.

Apple spokespeople were unavailable for comment at the time of publishing.


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