Apple’s profits fall as iPad sales flatten

Apple’s quarterly profits have dropped year on year, despite the increase in iPhone sales

Apple’s quarterly profits have dropped year on year, despite an increase in iPhone sales.

Apple reported profits of $7.5bn for its fourth quarter of 2013, ended 28 September, down from $8.2bn in the same quarter last year.

Despite the fall in profits, the company sold 33.8 million iPhones, compared with 26.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.

At the beginning of September, Apple launched its latest iPhones – the flagship 5S with fingerprint security technology and the colourful and slightly cheaper 5C. Apple stated it had sold nine million new iPhones in the first weekend of availability.

Meanwhile, the number of iPads sold increased slightly, from 14 million a year ago to 14.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, but this almost flat growth can be seen as a contributor to Apple’s fall in profits.

Apple announced new tablets earlier this month – the iPad Air, which is 20% thinner and 28% lighter than its predecessor, and a new iPad mini with a 9.7in retina display – but after the end of its fourth financial quarter.

The company also sold 4.6 million Macs during the quarter, a drop from 4.9 million a year ago.

“We generated $9.9bn in cash flow from operations and returned an additional $7.8bn in cash to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases during the September quarter, bringing cumulative payments under our capital return programme to $36bn,” said Apple's chief financial officer, Peter Oppenheimer.

Following the Christmas period, Apple is expecting revenue of between $55bn and $58bn in its first quarter of 2014.

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