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Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Apple Misses Third Quarter Results Target, Blames Bad Economy

Apple results fell short of investors' expectations as a sagging European economy and a pause in iPhone sales ahead of a new version saw revenues slip from the previous quarter.

Apple posted a 23 percent jump in revenue from the same quarter the previous year to $35 billion, but that was about $2 billion below Wall Street's average forecast.

Net income jumped 21 percent from a year earlier to $8.8 billion, or $9.32 a share, about 10 percent below expectations.

From the previous quarter, sales fell 22 percent in Asia-Pacific, outstripping a 3 percent to 6 percent drop in the Americas and Europe.

Apple sold 26.0 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 28 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter. iPad sales reached the 17.0 million units during the quarter, an 84 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. The company sold 4.0 million Macs during the quarter, a two percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. Finally, Apple sold 6.8 million iPods, a 10 percent unit decline from the year-ago quarter.

"We're thrilled with record sales of 17 million iPads in the June quarter," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "We've also just updated the entire MacBook line, will release Mountain Lion tomorrow and will be launching iOS 6 this Fall. We are also really looking forward to the amazing new products we've got in the pipeline."

Apple divided the blame for the shortfall between muted consumer purchases in Western Europe and a pullback in demand as consumers wait for a new iPhone model that many expect will be launched in September or October.

Executives acknowledged buyers were refraining from purchases because of "rumors and speculation" around the iPhone 5. They laid part of the blame on sputtering demand from European economies like Germany and France, while dismissing the impact of a Chinese slowdown.

China's economy grew at its slowest pace in three years in the second quarter. But Cook blamed the revenue shortfall in the region on changes in inventory as the company built up stocks of the iPhone 4S in the previous quarter, adding he saw nothing in the Chinese economy as having had an impact on sales.

iPhone sales had surged when Apple began selling its "Siri" voice-search-equipped iPhone 4S and China Telecom signed on as a second carrier, Cook said.

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