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Apple Q4 2007 results conference call liveblog

Welcome to TUAW's liveblog coverage of the Q4 2007 Apple earnings call. New updates will appear at the top of the post. You can listen in on the call via QuickTime streaming if you care to follow along...

06:04: Craig also notes that approximately 40 more Apple Retail Stores will open in the course of the year, both in the US and around the world.

6:01: That's all folks!

6:00: Questions turn to the iTunes experience and what media would be available in the store, along with how much extra revenue the $100 rebate has offered. Apple declined to comment on the rebate-generated revenue (no surprise there, either).

5:59: Nothing to announce today (unsurprisingly) but Oppenheimer reinforces the line that Apple will bring iPhone to Asia in 2008.

5:58: Asia / Pacific is Apple's fastest growing region. 2,000 storefronts have been added over the past year worldwide, but Apple merely says 'many' of those are in Europe / Asia.

5:57: Questions about the iPhone in Europe persist, with analysts wanting to know whether the iPhone halo will cross the Atlantic.

5:56: Apple still sees plenty of potential growth.

5:53: What drivers are you seeing on Mac products? Peter Oppenheimer: "We've had an incredible year.... we're shipping the best Macs in the history of the company.... we've sold over 120 million iPods, mostly to Windows users who have never been exposed to the Apple brand... and we've grown above industry rates for 11 of the last 12 quarters"

5:51: The lost analysts return, the U.K. audio failed, and then we rejoin the call talking about installed bases and the number of installed Tiger users.

5:49:
iPhone / iPod touch cannibalization: No obvious signs before the iPod touch announcement. Post-iPod touch announcement will be reported in January.

5:46: Much throatclearing.

5:45: Tony wants to know daily sales rate for iPhone sales. No way!

5:43: How did the demand elasticity show up with the iPhone price cut? We were thrilled with bump in demand. Some phone were sold with intent to unlock; our guess is 250K phones were sold to unlockers or unlocker wannabes.

5:40: Handset revenue will be recognized over 24 months, regardless of sale country. Accessories earned as sold; AT&T/carrier paybacks accounted for as earned.

5:39: Japan remains the most challenging market, but the iMac had units up 14% over year-ago quarter... things improving. iPod comparison had a tough go as last year a large number were sold to a Japanese telecom for promotion.

5:37: Lot of focus on iPhone for the European rollout.

5:36: Going after the small/medium business market? As far as we can tell from retail and online stores, doing well and growing. SMB users also love iPhone.

5:35: iPhone sales accelerated after the price reduction, for 1.4 M iPhones sold overall.

5:34: We'll try to backtrack with some of the earlier info. Retail stores produced 4.1 billion in revenue in the quarter. First store to open in Beijing next summer. (thanks Craig!)

5:33: Europe outgrew US 4 quarters in a row, is that sustainable? Excellent growth in Europe (up 47% in units) -- over 4 times IDC projected gain for Western Europe. No "August Lull" in Euro sales. View of the future is factored into guidance.

5:32: Can you help us explain the pricing on the iPhone in Europe, which doesn't seem to be tracking with the value of the dollar? iPhone EU pricing is set including VAT...

5:31: iPhone $100 credits are being accounted for as customers redeem them. Most redemptions expected by 12/31.

5:30p: Mac inventory in channel was below targets (a good thing, you want to minimize inventory).

5:29: How many Best Buy stores are up and running? 230 operating at Q end, more than 270 by end of 12/07. Impact on the business? "Very pleased."

5:27: iPhone revenue was $118M in the quarter, including amortization and AT&T contributions. Wee-hoo! (Much love, Gene Munster.)

5:25: Gross margin forecast is trending down from 33% to 31% -- iLife sales go down with new machine sales.

5:24: Back to school results at an all-time high. Sales accelerated dramatically after new iPod introductions. Market share in UK, Japan up for iPod in Q4.

5:23: Why is Apple confident on guidance in the face of economic challenges? Best Mac quarter ever, best iPod sales... a lot of momentum.

5:22: Ben from UBS -- "don't like to cheerlead, but nice quarter.: :-)

5:21: Nik has the touch! Link here for call. (Sorry we missed the press release readoff)

5:16 pm: Unfortunately, it seems like only a fortunate few are in on the call at this point, and neither Nik nor I are among them... we are going to have to wait for the recorded version. :-(

5:11 pm: Just a few highlights while we wait: a 400,000 unit increase in Mac sales over the year-ago quarter is indicative of moving beyond "halo effect" to true momentum.

5:09 pm: We're still not getting anything off the QuickTime stream, both in NYC and in the UK. If you are picking up a signal, post a comment.

5:04 pm: How can you tell if a duck is an Apple customer? He goes "Mac, Mac, Mac." (Still no audio.)

5pm: No audio yet! Argh.

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