The first quarter of Apple's 2012 fiscal year (beginning September 25, 2011) got off to rotten start when its iconic co-founder and chairman Steve Jobs passed away on October 5. It's been nothing short of golden ever since.
The company recently disclosed its financial results for the first quarter of the fiscal year 2012 ending on December 31, 2011. Needless to say, the numbers are astronomical. Over a three month period, Apple reported quarterly revenue of $46.33 billion and quarterly net profit of $13.06 billion - all-time records for both, with the later number doubling last year's ending quarter.
More specifically, for those who enjoy the wide berth of mobile games and applications available on its various devices, Apple reports sales of 37.04 million iPhones over the quarter (a 128% increase from last year's time period) and 15.43 million iPads (a 111% increase).
Apple CEO Tim Cook was thrilled:
“We’re thrilled with our outstanding results and record-breaking sales of iPhones, iPads and Macs. Apple’s momentum is incredibly strong, and we have some amazing new products in the pipeline.”
While Apple shareholders should sleep well tonight, the news is also a testament to the success of the company's current direction - one that might have several implications for gamers.
Spanning the first decade of the 21st Century, the technology behemoth saw a historic rise in influence, popularity, and, yes... wealth. And after riding the wave of success created by its now antiquated click wheel iPod, a sea change has taken place in recent years, giving rise to touch devices like the iPad and iPhone - and with them, a new way to game.
Games like Angry Birds have been downloaded and enjoyed by millions of casual gamers, while Unreal Engine-sporting games like Infinity Blade have made inroads among the more hardcore crowd. Blink, and before you know it, we might even be seeing Gears of War on an iPhone or Android device.
Of course, the mobile games we play are intrinsically tied to the hardware they're played on. Apple's iPad 3 has likely been in the works since the original iPad was launched and was recently rumored to be scouting out the month of March. The iPhone 5 may well join it at some point this year, and both are expected to introduce major "overhauls" to the current status quo.
While not everyone might agree on mobile gaming's place in the industry's future, the numbers don't lie. As long as hardware manufacturers continue to allow for games as a core part of their devices, the line of developers wanting to get their products in the door isn't getting any shorter.
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