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What's that? A company capitalized at more than $220 billion can't double its earnings? Tell that to Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) . The Mac maker's net income rose 90% to $3.33 per diluted share in its fiscal second quarter. Revenue was up 48% over the same period.
Eat that, skeptics.
The monster known as iPhone -- looking increasingly like the Kraken of the smartphone industry -- drove a big portion of the gains. Apple sold another 8.7 million handsets during Q2, about in line with last quarter's total but up 131% year-over-year. Handset revenue ballooned 124% to $5.4 billion. iPhone growth was everywhere.
"If you look at Asia Pacific as an example, the iPhone units in Asia Pacific grew 474% year-over-year. Japan grew 183%. Europe grew 133%, and so these are some fabulous numbers. We are seeing just incredible demand for iPhones," Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said in a conference call with analysts, adding eight carriers in key countries helped contribute to growth. Vodafone (NYSE: VOD ) , China Unicom (NYSE: CHU ) , and KT Corp. (NYSE: KTC ) all make that list.
What's interesting about these relationships is that they're all open; Apple won't marry any of them in their home countries the way it has married AT&T (NYSE: T ) here.
Cook cautioned analysts about reading too much into that.
"Over the past year we have moved a number of markets from exclusive to non-exclusive," Cook said. "In each case as we have done that we have seen our unit growth accelerate and our market share improve. But that doesn't mean we [think] that formula works in every single case."
Look, I recognize that Cook has to be cautious. Apple is notorious about lowballing guidance and was again last night, estimating just $2.28 to $2.39 in Q3 per-share net income when Wall Street is looking for $2.70. Few investors are selling on that gap because of history: analysts underestimated the iEmpire's earnings by at least 35% last quarter. Earnings estimates are often meaningless when it comes to Apple.
Strategy is a different story. We've seen Apple's strategy work time and again. Why not now, Mr. Cook? This isn't incremental growth we're talking about. These aren't triple-digit hiccups.
What's more, we know there's demand for Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) to resell an iPhone. We've seen the polls. Baltimore Sun tech reporter Gus Sentementes asked his readers to weigh in on whether they'd buy a Verizon iPhone. More than 80% responded "definitely."
Let Cook continue to act coy. The iPhone's track record overseas points irrefutably toward Apple divorcing AT&T so it can date Verizon, fool around with T-Mobile, and get introduced to Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S ) , before it makes up with Ma Bell here at home.
Would you buy a Verizon iPhone? Discuss in the comments box below.