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Apple posts $6.9 billion profit in Q3 as iPad sales shrink to 14.6 million

Apple posts $6.9 billion profit in Q3 as iPad sales shrink to 14.6 million

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Apple Earnings Money Cash (1020)
Apple Earnings Money Cash (1020)

Apple today published its financial results for its third fiscal quarter of 2013, reporting a $6.9 billion profit on $35.3 billion in revenue. That's roughly level in revenue terms with last year's $35 billion revenue, but profit was down a massive 21.6 percent from the same period's $8.8 billion. Both figures were also down from last quarter's $9.5 billion on $43.6 billion. At the end of last quarter, the company forecast revenue in the range of $33.5 billion - $35.5 billion, and Thomson Reuters' analyst consensus was around $35 billion for Q3, so the results don't come as a massive shock.

The drop in iPad sales was to be expected with no flagship launch

iPhone sales continued to grow in Q3, from 26 million last year to 31.2 million. iPad sales were down slightly year-over-year, from 17 million last year to 14.6 million. The drop in iPad sales is to be expected: last year the company had just released the third-generation iPad. The average selling price (ASP) of the company's iOS devices also took a hit. iPad ASP was down for the eighth consecutive quarter, now standing at $436 as a growing proportion of buyers opt for the company's cheaper iPad offerings such as the iPad mini. iPhone ASP has remained relatively steady over the same period, but has dropped below the historically-low $593 to $581.

Both Mac and iPod sales declined year-over-year

Apple's Mac and iPod businesses, which represent a small portion of its overall revenue, both saw a small decline. The company sold 3.75 million Macs over the quarter, down from 4.02 million last year, while revenue dropped slightly from $4.93 billion last year to $4.89 billion. iPod sales continued their gradual decline; Apple sold 4.57 million iPods this quarter, a 32 percent decline year-over-year. Bucking the trend, iTunes revenues went from strength to strength this quarter, up to $3.99 billion from $3.2 billion last year.

Declining iPad sales, together with the lower ASP figures for iOS devices, are likely to concern Wall Street. After a mid-cycle update with the 4th-generation iPad, investors will be hoping that Apple releases an all-new tablet this fall, alongside new iPhones and an "exciting new product." While Apple isn't led by the market, it looks like it will bring new products to satisfy a wider consumer base in the coming months. That said, the release of the rumored "low-cost iPhone" won't help Apple's flagging ASP.

As is tradition, Apple's CEO Tim Cook will be answering questions on the company's fortunes in its quarterly investor call. We're liveblogging the whole thing, so head over for the latest news.

Update: The earnings call is now over, and it threw up few surprises. Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer took the opportunity to tease "amazing new products we'll introduce in the fall and across 2014." As usual, analysts probed the company on what type of products they were, and as usual Tim Cook and Oppenheimer successfully evaded any specifics. Given Cook's bold statements last quarter, though, Apple looks sure to be entering a new product category in the coming months.

Read the full Apple Q3 2013 earnings call liveblog