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Following earnings call, AAPL drops below 600 for the first time since July

Less than 24 hours after releasing its fourth-quarter earnings results, Apple stock has now dropped below $600 for the first time since July. Apple reported Q4 earnings slightly higher than the analysts expected (apart from iPad sales, with 14 million units sold coming in lower than most estimates). Apple posted $8.2 billion in net profit with $36 million in revenue and diluted earnings per share of $8.67. That compares to an average of about 15.5 million iPads, earnings per share of $8.75, and $35.51 billion in revenueexpected by the analysts.
During Apple’s Q4 results conference call yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook answered questions about iPhone 5 supply and demand and shortages going forward. According to Cook, production is increasing but the company is still in a “significant state of backlog.” He confirmed Apple still plans to roll out the device to 100 countries by the end of the year. This morning—the iPad mini, and fourth-generation iPad, officially went up for pre-order. Shortly after, Apple sold out of some models and pushed back shipping times.
Cook remained confident that component shortages would not hold back iPhone and iPad sales, stating he is “pleased with the current volume of output.” He did, however, warn about significant iMac delays headed into the holidays

iPhone 5 Launch Props Up Apple's Share of Smartphone Market as Samsung Keeps Rolling

Research firm IDC yesterday released its estimates of global mobile phone and smartphone shipments for the third quarter of 2012, revealing that the iPhone 5 launch helped Apple gain market share over the year-ago period that saw customers holding out for the iPhone 4S launch. The few days of iPhone 5 sales in the quarter were not, however, enough to halt a continuing slide in market share over the past few quarters as Samsung in particular has maintained very strong growth at the top of the market. 

In the smartphone market, Apple's shipments of 26.9 million iPhones were up a healthy 57.3% year-over-year, outpacing overall market growth of 45.3% and boosting Apple's share from 13.8% to 15.0%. Apple's share was, however, pegged at 16.9% in the prior quarter

Worldwide Smartphone Shipments in 3Q12 in Millions of Units (Source: IDC)

With Samsung still declining to release official sales number, IDC estimated the company's smartphone shipments at 56.3 million during the quarter, doubling year-over-year and pushing Samsung's leading share of the worldwide market to 31.3%. And with Nokia's share of the smartphone market imploding as it tries to reinvent itself on the back of Windows Phone 8, no other manufacturer besides Samsung and Apple has a market share above 8%.
iPhone shipments finished the quarter nearly flat from the previous quarter, reaching a total of 26.9 million units. Although the iPhone 5 was only on the market for one week in 3Q12, the aggressive rollout of the device resulted in more than 5 million iPhones sold in the first weekend of availability, which helped buoy Apple's shipment totals. iPhone sales weren't dampened by the introduction of its Maps software, which was not completely ready for use. Instead, the iPhone 5's larger screen and 4G LTE connectivity generated user interest. What remains to be seen is how Apple will fare during the holiday quarter, when the iPhone 5 will be available in more countries worldwide.
In the overall mobile phone market, Apple continues to ride the smartphone boom with its 57.3% annual unit growth easily outpacing the overall market's 2.4% growth. The performance enabled Apple to take 6.1% of the mobile phone market during the quarter, up from 3.9% in the year-ago quarter but down from 6.4% in the previous quarter. 

Worldwide Mobile Phone Shipments in 3Q12 in Millions of Units (Source: IDC)

With Apple providing guidance yesterday of $52 billion in total company revenue for the current quarter, it seems that the company is unsurprisingly projecting a significant boost in iPhone sales numbers as the iPhone 5 sees a full quarter of availability in the early launch markets and Apple works to extend the device to its goal of 100 countries by the end of the quarter.

iPhone 5 Launching in India and Other Countries on November 2

The Economic Times reports that Apple will be launching the iPhone 5 in India on November 2, one week from today. The launch had previously been rumored for today, but the new report claims that shipping delays forced Apple to push the launch back by a week. 

Apple's global rollout plan was addressed in the company's earnings conference call yesterday, with CEO Tim Cook acknowledging in response to a question from JPMorgan analyst Mark Moskowitz that schedules are somewhat fluid based on supply and demand.
What we did initially, Mark, was we planned the first 30-40 countries prior to introducing the product and rolled those out across September on two different dates. The balance of the quarter we planned with an eye toward the supply and what we think the demand will be, but we do plan these in advance and so it is not a precise science. And we obviously have to plan those with several weeks of notice and so occasionally it can be different than what we think.
It does appear that this next round of launches coming on November 2 is a fairly substantial one, as we have also seen reports saying that the iPhone 5 will be launching on that date in BulgariaMaltaRomania, and Thailand, and there are likely to be other countries included in this group. 

Apple noted during its conference call that it remains on track to make the iPhone 5 available in at least 100 countries by the end of the year, although many of those additions will not be coming until December. The device launched in nine countries on September 21, with an additional 22 countries seeing debuts on September 28. 

Update 10:01 AMGreece is also included in this round of launches. MacRumors posters have noted that the device will also be launching in Croatia, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico.