Apple's fourth quarter profit of $8.2bn was not enough to please analysts and sales growth in Europe was particularly challenging.
Shares fell for the iPhone manufacturer in the wake of the results being issued, in spite of them exceeding Apple's predictions for the quarter. Sales were $36.0bn, up 27% on last year and up 3% on the previous quarter. Net profit was up 24.2% on last year's $6.6bn.
The results were for the three months to 30 September, meaning it won't be until the next financial quarter when Apple will report the full impact of the iPhone 5. Apple shipped 26.9 million iPhones during the quarter, up 3% on its previous quarter and up 58% on 2011. It had sales from the iPhone, related services and accessories of $17.1bn, accounting for almost half of its total sales, up 5% on its third quarter and up 56% on 2011.
Apple's iPad sales disappointed analysts, as consumers awaited the forthcoming iPad mini. It made $7.5bn in revenue, up 9% on last year but down 18% on the previous quarter, when it was boosted by the launch of the new iPad. It sold 14 million units, down 18% on the previous quarter but up 26% on 2011.
Europe proved to be Apple's most difficult market, with sales growth only up 8% year on year and revenue declining sequentially by 3% to $8.0bn.
In a conference call following the results, Apple CEO Tim Cook told analysts there had been a backlog of iPhone 5 devices in the supply chain but it had sorted out those problems. He was dismissive of Microsoft's Surface tablet, which goes on sale today (26 October). He said: 'I haven't personally played with the Surface yet, but what we're reading about it, is that it's a fairly compromised, confusing product. I suppose you could design a car that flies and floats, but I don't think it would do all of those things very well.'
In the financial statement, Apple chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimr said: 'We're pleased to have generated over $41bn in net income and over $50bn in operating cash flow in fiscal 2012. Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2013, we expect revenue of about $52bn and diluted earnings per share of about $11.75.'
Cook added: 'We're very proud to end a fantastic fiscal year with record September quarter results. We're entering this holiday season with the best iPhone, iPad, Mac and iPad products ever, and we remain very confident in our new product pipeline.'
Editor: Graeme Neill