Despite strong iPhone sales, Apple profits fall in Q4

Apple has released its financial results for the fourth quarter of the fiscal year. The Cupertino-based company posted quarterly revenue of $37.5 billion (£23.3 billion) and quarterly net profit of $7.5 billion (£4.66 billion).

After a quarter that saw the release of two new iterations of the company's most popular products – the iPhone 5S and 5C in September, and the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina earlier this month – Apple made a strong showing in sales.

Sales of iPhones are up, with the company selling 33.8 million iPhones, compared to 26.9 million in the fourth quarter of last year – a 26 per cent rise.

Apple did negligibly better than last year with its iPad range, selling 14.1 million tablets during this quarter, compared to 14 million in 2012. On the other hand, sales of Macs are down, with 4.6 million sold compared to 4.9 million a year ago, representing a drop of over seven per cent. However, Apple CEO Tim Cook was quick to point out that this defied the wider slump of 10 per cent across the whole PC market.

Apple's stock prices still took a hit as the company reported the third consecutive drop in quarterly net earnings. This quarter's profits of $7.5 billion (£4.66 billion) paled in comparison to 2012's fourth-quarter, in which Apple raked in $8.22 billion (£5.1 billion). This is despite a rise in revenue from $36 billion (£22.36 billion).

If Cook is worried, he wasn't quick to show it.

"We're pleased to report a strong finish to an amazing year with record fourth quarter revenue," he told reporters, "including sales of almost 34 million iPhones."

"We're excited to go into the holidays with our new iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S, iOS 7, the new iPad mini with Retina Display and the incredibly thin and light iPad Air, new MacBook Pros, the radical new Mac Pro, OS X Mavericks and the next generation iWork and iLife apps for OS X and iOS."

Apple provided a live stream of its fourth-quarter results announcement, for the viewing pleasure of the financially-minded. The webcast will also be available to watch online for the next two weeks.

Image: Flickr (Martin uit Utrecht)