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iPad and Mac sales down as Apple profits continue to slip

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iPad sales are down year-on-year despite iPad mini arrival

The days of record-setting quarter after record-setting quarter seem have been consigned to Apple's glorious past, with the latest earnings report to emerge from Cupertino, on Tuesday, which beat expectations, but showed further evidence of slowing earnings.

Declaring its numbers for Q3 2013, the company revealed it made $6.9 billion in profit, but had brought in significantly less revenue at $35.3 billion, compared with $43.6 billion in the last quarter.

The revenue drop-off notwithstanding, Apple beat Wall Street expectations sending shares up 4 per cent, despite the slowing of profits compared with last year's figures.

The $6.9 billion figure posted today, compares with the $8.8 billion it added to the coffers during the same period in 2012. To the average Joe (us included) $6.9 billion in profits at a time when umpteen tech companies are failing to break even, seems like something to be celebrated, but slowing growth for the first time in a decade, has been hanging over Apple over the last few months.

Those infamous 'analysts' predicting Apple's demise have been given ammunition for their doomsday prophecies by news that sales of the company's iPad tablet line dropped to 14.6 million in this quarter, which is down considerably from the 19.5 million it shifted during the previous three-month period.

Year-on-year, iPad sales are also down. Today's Q3 2012 filing compares negatively with the 17 million slates it shipped during the corresponding period one year ago.

As expected, Mac sales have dropped off too, despite Apple's best efforts. On the plus side Apple's personal computing line is slowing at a favourable rate compared with the rest of the tanking PC industry, meaning it was able to actually gain a little market share.

In terms of the almighty iPhone, Apple sold 31.2 iPhones in the quarter, a record for this time of year (but not all time), compared with 26 million a year ago.

iPhone and iPad sales are likely to decline again by the time Apple announces its next quarterly figures with no new launches expected until September at the absolute earliest.

Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, was defiant and pointed to the new software and hardware launches coming later this year and beyond.

He said: "We are especially proud of our record June quarter iPhone sales of over 31 million and the strong growth in revenue from iTunes, Software and Services."

"We are really excited about the upcoming releases of iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks, and we are laser-focused and working hard on some amazing new products that we will introduce in the fall and across 2014."

Until that "the fall," as Cook says, the iPhone 5, iPad Mini (first-gen) and iPad 4 will need to carry Apple through to its busy season. Will next quarter's results see the financial world throwing Apple under the bus too?

Do you think the drop off in sales and profits is cause for concern? Let us know in the comments section below.

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