Apple fails to excite with higher sales but lower profit

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Apple fails to excite with higher sales but lower profit

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Growth, but not good enough, was the reaction from investors to Apple’s latest quarterly numbers.

The world’s most valuable technology company saw sales rise but profit and profit margins slide under pressure from rivals as Apple is having to trim prices to remain competitive.

Chief Executive Tim Cook was upbeat, predicting the crucial holiday season would be “really great”.

Sales of iPhones surged 26 percent from a year ago to 33.8 million. It sold 14.1 million iPads during the quarter, up very slightly from last year.

Industry watchers were ho-hum. Alex Gauna of JMP Securities said: “Well, it was a healthy report and it was a good guide for the December quarter. The key questions now for investors that need to be answered is – will this momentum hold up and is Apple innovating enough.”

Another disappointment – revenue from China Hong Kong and Taiwan was up by just six percent even as Apple launched two smartphone models in its second-largest market last month.

Sales of its cheaper – but not cheap – iPhone 5C have been particularly disappointing.

Tim Cook said the China results were “pretty good” but added: “We obviously want to do better.”

Some investors worry Apple may have missed a chance to jumpstart sales and fend off Samsung in China with a more affordable phone.