Jan 25 2013, 3:30am CST | by Mark Raby
Apple is getting all sorts of attention. Of course, everyone is used to that, but it's been a while since people were glued to the company because of its <b>declining</b> profits. In the midst of a dropping stock price and a lot of unfortunate publicity for Apple, though, companies like AT&T and Verizon don't seem to be noticing any problems with their Apple connections.
In fact, the carriers saw record sales in the most recent quarter. Verizon says that it sold 6.2 million iPhones in the fourth quarter, a record for the company. And AT&T, which is the most recent carrier to provide its numbers, boasted an even bigger number - 8.6 million. AT&T also noted strong Android sales, bumping total smartphone activations to 10.2 million, also a record for the carrier.
There are a couple factors at play here. First of all, the smartphone audience is still growing. It hasn't reached the point of diminishing returns yet, and in fact it appears to be expanding faster than ever. This will just naturally lead to new records being set. But a lot of these new customers are price-conscious, so they're probably going for the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, or even earlier models - models which Apple doesn't earn as much profit on (and it earns none if it is sold as a used device).
Now, of course, Apple still had an incredible quarter. Every other company in America would do anything to be in the same position. But it is exactly because the company wields such power that any sort of negative trend is looked at with great sincerity. There are already analysts who say Apple hit its peak last year and will never reach $700 shares again.
But then again, there are many analysts who would never in their wildest dreams have predicted $700 shares in the first place, so who knows?
With more than 10 years as a professional writer, Mark Raby has an undeniable pulse on the latest trends. From the quiet rumors to the breaking news of the day, his eagle eye is always focused on the newest scoop and figuring out how and why the big newsmakers are noteworthy and relevant. He is based in New York City.
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