Apple's Profits Rise But iPad Sales Disappoint

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Apple has posted its fourth quarter earnings and both revenue and profit were the highest in company history. Nonetheless, Wall Street wasn't completely happy. Apple sold 4.2 million of its new tablet-style computer — fewer than the approximately 5 million analysts, on average, had expected.


This morning's fun business fact comes from Apple. The iPhone and iPad maker is now the second-biggest company in America - at least when you measure it by the value of its shares on the stock market.

Apple's latest revenues and profits were once again the highest in company history, and still, these results were not enough for Wall Street, as NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

WENDY KAUFMAN: Apple sold more than 14 million iPhones in the last three months, and those sales drove the company's quarterly revenue to more than $20 billion. The company saw a strong surge in Mac sales, and it sold nearly 4.2 million iPads. The latter is impressive for a product that's only been out since April, but some on Wall Street were looking for even stronger iPad sales. Wall Street was also a bit disappointed with profit margins which were down last quarter, and Apple says they're likely to be down even more in the current quarter.

Yesterday's earnings call had a surprise participant, Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who spent much of his time deriding Apple's competition, especially Google's approach to mobile devices with its Android operating system.

Mr. STEVE JOBS (CEO, Apple): There will be at least four app stores on Android which customers must search among to find the app they want and developers will need to work with to distribute their apps and get paid. This is going to be a mess for both users and developers.

KAUFMAN: Jobs also had harsh words for Rim and its Blackberry and for those trying to compete with the iPad.

Wendy Kaufman, NPR News.

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