Apple forecasts profit shy of predictions on iPad shortfall

S&Ps plunge after hours

Besides a new iPad, the company in recent weeks introduced a new iteration of its iPhone, upgrades to the existing iPad and new versions of is iPod and Mac computer line.

Apple sold 26.9 million iPhones during the period, more than the 26.3 million predicted by analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Analysts had lowered iPad predictions earlier this week after Cook, during the unveiling of the new iPad, said the company had sold 100 million iPads to date -- an indication that some quarterly projections were too high.

IPhones, Macs

Apple has said the new iPhone, which went on sale last month and sports a bigger screen and works with speedier wireless networks, will be available in about 100 countries by the end of the year. The smaller iPad goes on sale Nov. 2.

In the fourth quarter, back-to-school shopping helped push Mac sales to 4.9 million, matching the 4.9 million predicted by analysts. The lineup of desktops and laptops has been gaining share as demand wanes for competing personal computers, according to research firm Gartner Inc. Microsoft this week releases its own tablet, the Surface.

Apple sold 5.3 million iPods, compared with the 5.8 million predicted by analysts.

Gross profit margin, the proportion of sales left after deducting production costs, was 40 percent last quarter, compared with 40.3 percent a year earlier.

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