**Editor's Note: Click here for a look back at how some of the industry's biggest players fared in Q2.**
Apple sold 26.9 million units of its iconic iPhone in its fiscal fourth quarter – ending Sept. 29 – helping the company make a profit of $8.2 billion; yet that wasn't enough for some analysts and investors who were expecting more.
Supply-chain issues in Asia have kept the Silicon Valley giant from selling even more iPhones, the latest of which – the iPhone 5 – went on sale just nine days before the end of the quarter. The nearly 27 million iPhones sold was 58 percent more than during Q3 2011 – of course, there was no new iPhone announced last year until October. iPad sales were up 26 percent, to 14 million. Mac sales were up slightly while the number of iPods going out the door was down 19 percent.
You're not in a bad predicament when your biggest problem is not having enough product to satisfy demand.
Revenue was approximately $36 billion, slightly more than expected.
“We’re very proud to end a fantastic fiscal year with record September quarter results," said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’re entering this holiday season with the best iPhone, iPad, Mac and iPod products ever, and we remain very confident in our new product pipeline."
And the future seems bright to most analysts.
"Should Apple manage to forge a deal with China Mobile, which captures the vast majority (120 million subscribers) of the high-end mobile customer base in China, it would be a major wildcard and driver for iPhone and mini iPad sales for years to come," noted Julien Blin, an analyst with Infonetics Research. "The mini iPad should be a top seller in China, where Apple already dominates the market."
Apple’s board declared a cash dividend of $2.65 per share of the company’s common stock, payable on Nov. 15.
But another mostly spectacular earnings report from Apple didn't really get that interesting until CEO Tim Cook laid into rival Microsoft on the company's afternoon conference call, ripping the Redmond, Wash.-based computer giant's new tablet, the Surface.
“I haven’t played with a Surface yet, but what we are reading about it is that it is a compromised and confusing product," Apple CEO Tim Cook said, as quoted by ABC News. “You could design a car that flies and floats, but I don’t think it would do all those things very well. I think when people look at the iPad versus competitive offerings, they will continue to want an iPad."
The Surface, a new Microsoft Windows store and the brand-new Windows 8 operating system debut tomorrow. Apple earlier this week introduced the iPad mini – a smaller version of its tablet PC – as well a fourth-generation version of its standard-sized version.
Despite calling Apple's results today "unspectacular," analyst Beau Skonieczny of Technology Business Research predicts that the iPhone 5 will lead Apple to new sales records, yet again, in its 2013 fiscal first quarter (Oct.-Dec. 2012), keeping the likes of Microsoft and Google's Android at bay.
"Apple's well-timed product launches will cast a shadow over Windows 8 and Android devices in 4Q12," wrote Skonieczny.