Apple has scheduled its annual developers conference for June, as it looks to move on from posting its first quarterly fall in profit in a decade.
The Worldwide Developer Conference will take place from June 10-14 in San Francisco, with speculation Apple could reveal its new iOS7. Last night it revealed profits had fallen from $11.6bn (£7.60bn) to $9.5bn (£6.2bn), the first time its bottom line had shrank since 2003. Its performance was better than expected and the manufacturer moved to placate jittery investors by approving a 15% increase in its quarterly dividend and revealed a $60bn share buyback programme.
Sales were down 20% on the traditionally strong fourth quarter of 2012 to $43.6bn, but increased 11% on the same period last year. Both smartphones and tablets hit an all-time high. It shifted 37.4m iPhones during the three months to 31 March, down 22% on the last three months of 2012 but up 7% on this time last year. Sales of iPhones were worth $23.0bn, contracting by a quarter on its previous three months worth of sales, but up 3% on 2011.
Tablet sales surged 65% during the past 12 months to 19.5m units, worth $8.7bn. However, sales were sequentially down 15% and were worth 18% less than the fourth quarter. Apple continued to reap the benefits of demand for its iPad mini but its lower price has hit margins, which were down from 47% a year ago to 37.5%.
Speaking to analysts after the results, CEO Tim Cook was stubborn about releasing a quick fix device to help maintain its stellar performance of recent years. Apple has been under pressure from investors to release a lower cost iPhone device, amid the explosion in smartphone demand. But its chief executive, who described the decline in its share price as 'very frustrating', said it would be the fourth quarter before any new devices hit the market. He said: 'Our teams are hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software, and services that we can’t wait to introduce this fall and throughout 2014. We continue to be very confident in our future product plans.'
He also played down any prospect of a larger screen iPhone device hitting the market, despite the surge in Android rivals. Cook said: 'My view continues to be that iPhone 5 has the absolute best display in the industry. And we always strive to create the very best display for our customers. And some customers value large screen size, others value also other factors such as resolution, color quality, white balance, brightness, reflectivity, screen longevity, power consumption, portability, compatibility with apps and many things.
'Our competitors had made some significant trade-offs in many of these areas in order to ship a larger display, we would not ship a larger display iPhone while these trade-offs exist.'
Author: Graeme Neill