Apple came out with its earnings report yesterday, and while all wasn't rosy for the Cupertino technology company, bottom line is they made money as earnings increased an impressive an impressive 8.7 percent in year over year earnings with net profits up 15 percent (as reported in the Guardian). All this in the middle of what the IMF recently called, the worst economic climate since the Great Depression.

Computer Sales Down

As has been widely reported Mac sales have been off. People are buying fewer Apple computers and in fact Mac shipments were off significantly last quarter according to this Cnet article:

Mac shipments fell 3 percent compared to last year. It's the first time Mac shipments have fallen year over year, but some had expected worse. Desktop shipments fell 4 percent, and portable shipments fell 2 percent, but revenue was way off: 22 percent in desktops, and 12 percent in portables.

iPods and iPhones Continue to Lead the Way

What has saved Apple's economic butt is that while people may be buying fewer of their high end products like Mac desktops and Mac Books, it didn't stop them from buying iPods and iPhones in huge quantities. In fact, iPod Touch sales doubled from last year, but even with these numbers iPod revenues were off.

According to this chart (provided by Cnet) the big winner this quarter was the iPhone and related products and services (which I assume is revenue from App Store sales). Regardless, it was up...wait for it...a whopping 302 percent. It seems the iPhone carried the company through the darkest economic times and provided a hedge against weaker sales across the entire product line.

The Golden Company

It's interesting that while Microsoft goes after Apple in its recent spate of ads as being too expensive (as I wrote in Microsoft Gives Apple the Full Court Press), it seems that the numbers in computer sales actually supports this claim. People are holding off on buying a Mac right now, but you may recall that some time ago, Apple dropped the word Computer from their name because they are much more than a computer company. And it's those non computer products and services (including iTunes and the App Store) that are keeping the company profitable through the worst of times.

Macs may indeed be too expensive right now, but it's not stopping people from spending on Apple products, and when the economy turns around, Apple will be waiting to make even more money. If they can do it in the darkest days, it's hard to imagine what they'll do when the sun comes out again.