Apple profit declines as iPad sales flatten but revenue and iPhone shipments grow

Apple's iPad shipments were flat and its Mac shipments declined in the last quarter

Growth in iPhone shipments couldn't prevent Apple from reporting a drop in profits for the last quarter, as the iPad market flattened and Mac shipments fell.

Apple reported a profit of $US7.5 billion for the fourth quarter of its fiscal year, down from $US8.2 billion in the same quarter a year earlier. Revenue climbed to $US37.5 billion for the quarter, which ended September 28, up from $US36 billion, Apple announced. Analysts had been expecting revenue of $US36.9 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

Apple shipped 33.8 million iPhones during the quarter, up from 26.9 million a year earlier. That included around 9 million iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c smartphones in the three days after the handsets started shipping on September 20, which Apple said was a record. An attraction of the iPhone 5s is a fingerprint reader that can be used instead of a password to log in.

Apple's iPad tablet shipments were 14.1 million, compared to 14 million a year ago. Apple announced new tablets earlier this month, including the 9.7-inch iPad Air and 7.9-inch iPad Mini with Retina display, both of which have a new 64-bit A7 chip.

Mac shipments in the quarter totaled 4.6 million, dropping from 4.9 million a year ago. Despite the decline, the company is not abandoning the laptop or desktop market. Apple has "been hard at work on the Mac", Apple CEO, Tim Cook, said at an event last week where new MacBook Pros with Retina displays were announced. Apple's new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops are $US200 cheaper than their predecessors.

The company also introduced a new Mac Pro high-end desktop, which will start at $US2999. The high-end workstation has a new cylinder design and packs more storage, memory and graphics features.

For the first fiscal quarter of 2014, Apple is expecting revenue of between $US55 billion and $US58 billion, the company said. It also announced a dividend of $US3.05 per share payable on November 14.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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