An Apple miss is a rare phrase to hear, but having set phenomenally high standards in estimates in recent years, it was going to happen some day. Ahead of a possible dual launch of a new iPhone and iPad, Apple will be looking forward to the next quarter to bounce back.
Three Out of Four Isn't Bad
As largely expected, Apple registered $8.8 billion in net profit in a quarter some analysts are referring to as "weak". That came off $35 billion in sales, with the company selling 26 million iPhones, and a record 17 million iPads in the quarter, those numbers are up 28% and 84% year-over-year respectively. Pretty sure any other mobile or computer company would love to enjoy such a weak quarter.
The company also sold over another 4 million Macs, up 2% over last year's figure, with half of them new Mac owners, not just repeat buyers. The only number going down was in the declining music player market, with iPod sales were at 6.8 million down 10%. Naturally, there were no major announcements made, with the financial call taking place (watch it, or catch up here).
One small piece of news was the release of OS-X Mountain Lion, which will be shipping tomorrow. With Apple now paying dividends, stock holders will receive a cash dividend of $2.65 per share. Apple's stock price was down 5% on the news, the company will begin a $10 billion stock repurchase program starting this September.
Fourth Quarter Looking Rosy
With the growing likelihood of the new iPhone 5 and likely mini iPad shipping before the end of the next quarter, Apple's next set of results are likely to be off the charts. For developers on iOS, Apple has now paid out some $5.5 billion paid to developers over the App Store. Apple's increasing physical stores are doing a roaring trade with 83 million visitors.
With Apple's new hardware likely to go up against an avalanche of new Windows 8 devices, an ever-wider range of Android products and Google's own Nexus tablet, the competition has never been more fierce, but as long as Apple has the growing band of loyal users, increasingly tied to the app store, it seems well placed to meet the challenge.