Jan 28th, 2015

AppleStore_Shinsaibashi,_Osaka

We ridiculed Apple for finally breaking out of their shell and delivering the types of devices people have wanted, but as much fun as that was there’s no doubt it did good things for them as a company. Confirmation of that fact arrived ahead of today’s stock market opening as Apple has reported record-breaking revenue and sales numbers. And when we say record-breaking, we mean there’s possibly no other company that could sell this many smartphones in one quarter.

Apple reported a ridiculous $74.6 billion in revenue for their fiscal Q1 2015, an increase of 30% year-over-year, thanks to the sale of 21.4 million iPad tablets, 5.5 million Mac computers and — you may want to sit down for this — 74.5 million iPhone devices. Most companies would be ecstatic to make that over the course of a year or two, so for Apple to rake all that in within just one quarter speaks volumes about the company’s new direction.

To put that all into perspective, Apple’s big quarter joins an exclusive list of the top 5 quarterly results of all time. The other four? Oil companies. Just think about that for a second. There is no bigger business than oil, and Apple — a consumer electronics company — has found its way into that territory. In fact, Apple now owns the honor of having the biggest quarter ever in the history of business.

Shareholders in Apple’s camp are sure to be waking up quite happy this morning. The stock sits at $117.82 per share — a jump of nearly 8% — as of the time of this writing, and there’s a chance it could grow even more as the day moves on. That’s the highest Apple’s stock has been since the months immediately following the launches of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (it peaked at around $119 on November 26th, 2014).

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It has to be a frightening sight for other smartphone manufacturers, especially in a time where the top companies not named Apple are already struggling to maintain solid footing.

Samsung is the one that stands to lose the most out of them all as they’re atop the totem pole in most parts of the world. The South Korean company, which once soared to new heights on the back of a highly competitive anti-iPhone ad campaign, now has to watch on as the company they halfway owe their growth in the mobile realm to could just as easily dismantle them.

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And if all of that isn’t enough, Apple hasn’t even set foot into the smart watch arena yet. The company reaffirmed plans to make that happen this April with its first consumer launch — the Apple Watch — and it’s only then that we’ll be able to see the impact they will have on one of the most exciting new wearable product categories to spawn in the past few years.

In the meantime, Apple is expecting things to calm down in the next quarter as holiday promotions and advertising wind down and as demand decreases. They’re still expecting revenue between $52 and $55 billion, so their idea of a “down quarter” isn’t quite the same as everyone else’s.

Samsung? Sony? HTC? Moto? The balls are in your courts to respond with the sort of innovation to make sure Apple’s renaissance has more of a temporary effect than a lasting one.