Apple CEO Cook: we blame Europe and iPhone 5 fanboys for our stunted growth

Apple's CEO Tim Cook has admitted to be being disappointed by Apple's latest quarterly results, blaming his company's growth slowdown on hitches getting products into the Chinese market, the relentless hype machine surrounding the iPhone 5 and, of course, the old enemy Europe.

Despite seeing profits rise by 21 per cent and revenue increase year-on-year to the tune of some $35 billion (£22.5bn) in total takings, the tech giant's giant ventured that sales of devices like the iPhone 4 and 4S had suffered - Apple only flogged a "paltry" 26 million iPhone devices in the latest quarter - as consumers opted to hold out for the latest model, predicted to arrive this autumn.

Europe performed especially badly, Mr Cook claimed, though the UK itself experienced "relatively solid" growth of 30 per cent.

"The geography that did not perform well was Europe. Europe was essentially flat and that really hampered our total result," he said.

"France, and Greece and Italy were particularly poor, and Germany was also similarly a single-digit positive growth for the quarter. Eastern Europe was strong, materially stronger than Western Europe," Cook continued.

By way of contrast, iPhone sales in the US were up 50 per cent and in Japan by 45 per cent compared to this time last year,

Apple's CFO Peter Oppenheimer added that over eager fanboys speculating about new products like teenage boys trying to poke their heads into the girls' locker room contributed to the supressed demand - though none of Apple's representatives have gone so far as to acknowledge the impact of Samsung's Galaxy S3 on the market.

"Our weekly iPhone sales continue to be impacted by rumours and speculation regarding new products," Mr Oppenheimer said

In addition to pointing to a late-September launch, the latest iPhone 5 speculation includes a lot of chitchat about shrunken dock connectors and larger, better quality displays.