Apple scores record Q3 iPhone sales while iPad demand dips

Apple saw strong iPhone sales during the third quarter, though iPad sales dipped slightly ahead of an expected autumn refresh of Cupertino's gadget lineup.

Apple sold 31.2 million iPhones, which it said was "a record for the June quarter." That was up from the 26 million it sold during the same time period in 2012, but down from 37.4 million last quarter.

Apple moved 14.6 million iPads during the quarter, down from 17 million last year and 19.5 million in the second quarter.

On the financials, revenue landed at $35.3 billion (£23 billion), up slightly from $35 billion (£22.8 billion) last year, but down from last quarter's $43.6 billion (£28.4 billion). Profit was at $6.9 billion (£4.5 billion), down from $8.8 billion (£5.7 billion) last year and $9.5 billion (£6.2 billion) last quarter.

During a call with analysts, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said "iPhone sales were ahead of expectations" in developed and emerging markets - from India to the US.

The iPhone 5 was "by far" the most popular iPhone, but Apple also shifted the iPhone 4 and 4S during the quarter.

CEO Tim Cook said the iPhone 4 is popular among first-time smartphone buyers. "We want to attract as many of these buyers as we can," he said, and the older iPhone has "proven to be a great product for that buyer."

Does uptake of the iPhone 4 signify a need for the much-rumoured low-cost iPhone? Cook would say only that he doesn't "subscribe to the common view that the higher-end smartphone market has hit its peak. I don't believe that. But we'll see."

"We have more than one tool in the toolbox," he continued. "We're working on some stuff that we're really proud of [and] we'll announce things when we're ready."

On the iPad, Apple pointed to a reduction in channel inventory, as well as the fact that there was no new iPad this year so far for the decline. Still, Cook pointed to data from Chitika, which found that 84 per cent of North American tablet data usage was for the iPad in June. "If there are other tablets selling, I don't know what they're being used for," Cook quipped.

Apple, meanwhile, also sold 3.8 million Macs, similar to second-quarter numbers, but down from four million last year.

By the time Apple reports its next quarterly earnings in October, the company will likely have introduced its next-gen iPhone and released iOS 7, though the company has not yet many any announcements.

The timing on a revamped iPad is less clear; last year, the iPad mini and fourth-gen iPad made their debut in October.