Apple’s profit was unchanged during the last quarter, ending what’s been a staggering run of exponential growth for the pedlar of bijou objets du desire.
The tech giant’s profits stood at $13.1 billion (£8.7 billion) for the period on record revenues of $54.5 billion (£34.4 billion). Adjusted to take into costs accrued by launching new products, this means profits tally almost exactly with the year-ago quarter.
The worse-than-expected showing came despite iPhone shipments soaring to an all-time quarterly high of 47.8 million, which was still not enough to meet Wall Street number wonks’ forecast of 50 million-plus.
iPad demand was also at record levels, although here shipments of 22.9 million chimed with analysts’ predictions.
The mixed performance followed a week of doomsaying from tech watchers, some of whom anticipated a historic fall in profits for the Cupertino-based company.
In what seemed like a bid to mop the brows of concerned investors, Apple CEO Tim Cook talked up what he claims is a welter of “incredible stuff” in its product pipeline.
This is thought to include a more affordable smartphone, dubbed the iPhone mini, aimed at seeing off rival Android efforts in the low-cost handset market, as well as a first-ever Apple phablet in the shape of the surely tentatively titled iPhone Math.
Commenting on the figures, uSwitch comms mobile maven and all-round Apple authority Ernest Doku said: “There’s no doubt the iPhone and iPad have been revolutionary devices, but Apple’s growing reliance on iteration over innovation has shaken the faith of investors looking at the long term.
"The need to head off impressive Android-powered competition has seen the tech giant alter the iPhone 5’s screen size and unveil the affordable iPad mini, both reactive measures to a rapidly changing industry.”