Apple Inc's quarterly earnings and forecasts easily beat Wall Street's estimates, helping the technology giant's shares up 7 percent after hours.
The following are comments from investors and analysts.
MIKE HOLT, ANALYST, MORNINGSTAR
It's really a blockbuster quarter for them, especially on the iPhone. That number alone is a dramatic increase. It really shows the strength of the iPhone 4S, and we haven't even seen it hit all the major markets yet.
To get that kind of market they didn't have to sacrifice on the average sale price (for the iPhone). Now we see the strength of the new phone in action. That tops my estimates for what I was optimistically anticipating for the quarter.
What we see here is there is plenty of room for Apple to keep growing at the same time Android is having success.
MICHAEL WALKER, PORTFOLIO MANAGER, WP STEWART
What's really impressive is they are raising guidance. Their Q4 was so huge. Everybody expects the iPad 3 to come out in March like it normally does. You think you'd see a major pause in iPad shipments and seasonality. I thought it would drag guidance down to see what they say qualitatively on the call. It doesn't seem to be causing a problem.
The iPhone ASP was up sequentially to $659. Which is interesting when they introduced the free 3GS and the iPhone 4 is at 8G for $99. A lot of people thought iPhone volume would be strong but they thought they would be propelled by cheaper models.
China is the big market left. If you buy an iPhone in China, you are still paying $800 because everybody buys a prepaid phone. There's still a huge opportunity there. They are not on some of the biggest carriers in China. They are not T-Mobile here in the U.S. or LG Telecom in Korea as well.
BRIAN MARSHALL, ANALYST, ISI GROUP
It was just Herculean results across the board. The biggest upside surprise was the iPhone results. iPads had a tremendous amount of gifting of the product across the holidays. Macs were very solid.
This business model continues to know no bounds. Despite the fact that Apple is going to do $150 billion or more in revenue next year, it's still growing at unbelievable rates.
It seems like we are going to be smooth sailing for this year... It really seems over the next year there won't be any headwinds.
HENDI SUSANTO, ANALYST, GABELLI & CO
Overall the results are phenomenal. The highlight of the results are the gross margins which are extremely strong despite concerns that the iPad carried lower than corporate average gross margin and that it would dilute overall gross margin. That's the biggest takeaway.
Going into 2012 I expect strength of iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad should carry on into the year. Apple still has some tailwind including opening up new retail stores and expanding its distribution channels.
I would say Apple still has many unpenetrated international markets, for example Indonesia, one of the top BlackBerry markets. I just heard Apple is going to launch the iPhone 4S there this month. They put it in a local newspaper. Apple is still far from its saturation.
MICHAEL WALKLEY, ANALYST, CANACCORD GENUITY
Just amazingly good numbers with iPhones and just about every metric was well ahead of expectations. Very strong results on the initial read and it sets up Apple well for the rest of the year.
They are still ramping up the new geographies like the iPhone 4 in China, which they just started selling in January and we'll see in March results. iPhones and Siri still driving strong. An iPhone 5 for the end of the year with a new form factor and with LTE will drive another set of gains in 2012.
TRIP CHOWDHRY, MANAGING DIRECTOR, GLOBAL EQUITIES RESEARCH
This is all about innovation, you have to out-innovate and delight the customer. Apple is the only company that knows how to do that. The guidance is phenomenal.
COLIN GILLIS, ANALYST, BGC FINANCIAL
It's a monster quarter. Their guidance is strong too, it's a holiday quarter. There's just a worldwide demand for Apple products.
RICHARD SICHEL, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, PHILADELPHIA TRUST CO
It looks like they just broke right through the estimates of sales of the hot products, and thanks to that, earnings-per-share and revenues were dramatically more than expected.
Basically they really just shot right by what people were looking for. It looks very positive.
BILL KREHER, ANALYST, EDWARD JONES
Apple's results were tremendous and the company continues to distance itself from industry peers. Just the magnitude of the iPhone beat is very impressive.
(Reporting By Liana Baker, Nicola Leske, Lisa Richwine)