Apple's Juicy Domestic Digits

For a company as obsessed with secrecy as Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) is, it must hate the field day the media is having with the baring of its deepest, darkest secrets for all to see as a result of its high-profile suit against Samsung, which has just concluded with the jury siding with Apple.

Now you see me
One of the more interesting tidbits that has been revealed throughout the trial in the form of exhibits is domestic sales figures from both parties, which have never been publicly disclosed until now. Apple even went as far as to break out iPod Touch sales figures (also just domestically), which it has also never done before, instead only reporting the broader iPod category.

Sources: Court filing, SEC filings.

The percentage of iPhones sold internationally has been on a steady rise over the years, with the portion attributed domestically declining in lockstep.

Sources: Court filing, SEC filings.

The iPad is following a similar trend, with two-thirds of all units sold last quarter generated internationally, up from 30% when the product was first launched.

It's also useful to compare Apple's now-disclosed figures with the activation figures that domestic wireless carriers report. AT&T (NYSE: T  ) , Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) , and Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S  ) all separately put up iPhone activation figures. Leap Wireless (Nasdaq: LEAP  ) recently began offering the iPhone on its prepaid Cricket brand in June but didn't disclose figures in its most recent earnings release. Instead, it merely said it was "early," but plans to provide more detail in future quarters. Sprint's prepaid brand, Virgin Mobile, also started offering the iPhone, and presumably those sales are included in its total.

Sources: Court filing, SEC filings.

The market frequently uses these cumulative figures as a proxy for domestic sales, but it seems this is an imperfect substitute though since the cumulative total I've been tracking diverges from what Apple has just revealed. In some cases, the difference is as high as 1.7 million units. A few possible explanations for this discrepancy is that activations reported by carriers may not equal new iPhone sales, and Apple's reported figures include units sold in to channel inventory, not necessarily sell-through.

On Samsung's side, its Galaxy Tab Android tablets are included in the suit so it had to confess that its sales for the tablets haven't been quite as high as it had previously maintained. Sammy likes to tout its shipment figures instead of its actual sales figures. For example, in January 2011 it boasted "sales" of 2 million Galaxy Tab 7.0 units during its launch quarter, including 500,000 in Europe, 350,000 in North America, and 330,000 units in Asia during Q4 2010.

We now know that Samsung sold just 262,000 units in Q4 2010, or about three-quarters of its shipments. When you include its Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE that were launched slightly later, the company has sold a cumulative total of 1.4 million tablets in the U.S. over the past seven quarters. In comparison, Apple has sold 29.7 million iPads in the U.S. over the same time, more than 20 times as many units.

Sources: Court filing, SEC filings.

Sales plunged precipitously last quarter -- the first full quarter after Apple launched its third-generation iPad. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 fell from 104,000 units in the first quarter to just 1,000 units in the second. Interestingly, Samsung recognized revenue of negative-$5 million for that device last quarter.

Source: Court filing.

That could be a result of reports that retailer Best Buy was seeing Galaxy Tabs returned because customers mistakenly thought they were buying an iPad. That wouldn't bode well for the notion that Samsung isn't copying Apple. Samsung recently conducted a study at Best Buy and its results found that customers were indeed returning Galaxy Tabs, but because the devices were malfunctioning and not working properly, instead of confusion over which product they were buying.

I'm not sure which would be worse: an admission that Galaxy Tabs are knockoffs of iPads, or that Galaxy Tabs just plain stink. Pick your poison. One thing's not up for debate, though: the $5 million in red ink.

Now you don't
The figures that were disclosed paint give an unprecedentedly detailed glimpse at each companies' performance in the U.S., and Samsung even breaks down its plethora of smartphones similar fashion. Don't expect this level of candid disclosure going forward, though; it's back to aggregate figures for us.

Apple owns the burgeoning tablet market and has plenty of room to run. Sign up for The Motley Fool's new Apple research service to get everything you need to know about the iPhone maker, complete with free quarterly updates.

Fool contributor Evan Niu owns shares of AT&T, Verizon Communications, and Apple, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Best Buy and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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