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Cramer: Apple just had a 'Muhammad Ali quarter'

Though it took a beating from overly negative analysts last quarter, Apple successfully rebuffed the attacks and delivered an earnings surprise, CNBC's Jim Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street" Wednesday.

"This was a Muhammad Ali quarter—they floated like a butterfly, they stung like a bee. All these analysts wanted to do was say saturation, saturation in iPhone, and they were using every bit of ammo," Cramer said.

"Trying to nail them down, ultimately, again and again on China," he said. "It didn't matter they sold a lot in India, it didn't matter that they sold a lot all over the world. All the analysts cared about was China, China, China. … The analysts have gotten too negative on this."

(Read more: Apple beats on earnings, but revenue outlook falls short)

Muhammad Ali (R) connects a right punch against Ken Norton during the fight at the Sports Arena on March 31,1973 in San Diego, California.
The Ring Magazine | Getty Images
Muhammad Ali (R) connects a right punch against Ken Norton during the fight at the Sports Arena on March 31,1973 in San Diego, California.

The notion that Apple is saturated in the market is not a great one, Cramer said, pointing to ARM Holdings, which refuted the idea. "The fact is that Micron may be the real winner here because they supply the [dynamic random access memory]. DRAMs should have come down in price, and they haven't."

(Read more: Apple shares jump as investors dismiss Achilles Heel)

But what happens when you begin reading the earnings tea leaves?

"On the quarter, you get the sense that they are saying, 'We do have something big up our sleeve,' but the analysts are saying, 'It's been up your sleeve for so long,' " Cramer said. He added that, reading the announcement, "I didn't feel that we'd get a new product this year."

The real tell on Apple earnings was Verizon's report, as the company is a significant seller of the iPhone, he said. "If you listened to Verizon, you extrapolated that, you could have bought Apple 20 points ago."

(Read more: Surge in iPhone sales rings well with Apple investors)

Cramer expects that over time, business in China will "go their way" and result in bigger gross margins and better sales. However, the company didn't mention its ecosystem enough in the report, which is important for how iPhone 4 and 4S sales will increase its margins in established markets.

— By CNBC's Paul Toscano. Follow him on Twitter and get the latest stories from "Squawk on the Street" @ToscanoPaul

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