Apple held a conference call this afternoon to discuss its third-quarter earnings warning. Highlights from the call follow:

  • CFO Fred Anderson: seasonal sales uplift did not materialize in second-half of May and first week of June, as expected; three reasons cited: weak consumer markets, weak pro sales (creative markets especially), international sales down (“Down across the board in Europe”)
  • higher gross margins will help profits; DRAM prices are down 50 percent since the start of the quarter
  • Apple is exercising disciplined expense control but is continuing to “invest in the future” despite the downturn, and this quarter introduced the Xserve, eMac, and updated the iBook and PowerBook
  • education sales, which are strongest in June, are in line “so far”, although two weeks remain in the month
  • Apple is not offering any guidance for its September quarter yet; Apple will wait until this quarter closes at the end of the month
  • Anderson refuses to discuss sales performance of specific products, “We’re down in all areas”
  • “We had a reasonably good April, we didn’t see a slow-down as early as our competitors because we still had the strength of the flat-panel iMac; the pent up demand,” historic “Dads & Grads” uplift didn’t happen
  • Apple’s retail stores “have not been immune” to the consumer weakness