Apple profits stall

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apple logo new lib REUTERS (File photo) A man talks on a mobile phone in front of an Apple logo outside an Apple store in downtown Shanghai .

London - Technology giant Apple last night came within a whisker of posting its first dip in profits for more than a decade, as sales of its iPhone 5 fell short of expectations.

The company revealed profits had nudged up by just 0.1pc to $13.1bn in the final three months of last year.

It sold a record 47.8m iPhones in the quarter, compared with 37m in the same period the previous year.

But the iPhone sales fell short of the roughly 50m that analysts had predicted. Sales of iPads came in at 22.9m, roughly in line with forecasts.

Chief executive Tim Cook said he was ‘thrilled’ with the figures. But Wall Street was less impressed, as shares fell 4pc with revenues of $54.5bn also falling slightly short of expectations.

Apple will still breathe a sigh of relief, with analysts predicting the first dip in profits since 2003 - the year it launched iTunes.

But the flat figures compared with previous turbo-charged growth will still fuel concerns that the California-based firm may finally be losing its magic touch.

Apple’s shares have slumped by almost 30pc since reaching a record high in September amid fears that the company is losing its edge in a highly competitive market.

In just four months the market capitalisation has fallen by around £125bn – close to the entire value of Google or Microsoft.

It has been hit as rivals including Samsung, online retailer Amazon and search engine giant Google have launched cheaper alternatives to the iPhone and iPad.

In November the world’s number one smartphone maker Samsung gained more bragging rights over its Californian rival, boasting the best selling phone in the world.

Its Galaxy S3 smartphone pipped Apple’s iPhone 4s, selling 18m to 16.2m in the three months to the end of September. - Daily Mail

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