The recession in some ways has helped Apple. Lower prices for memory chips and LCD display panels helped boost its profit margins. Tim Cook, the company’s chief operating officer, said he believed that many manufacturers were selling components at cost, so the recession bonus wouldn’t last. In fact, the company predicts its margins will shrink by the second half of the year.
As for product mix, the company sold 3 percent more iPods in the last quarter of 2008 than the year before; analysts were expecting sales in that mature market to shrink. Meanwhile, sales of the iPhone fell short of expectations. Apple sold 4.4 million phones in the quarter, compared to estimates of 5 million. Nobody asked Apple executives to explain this.
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