Apple shares fell 5 percent immediately after it reported figures for the last quarter of 2013. Market analysts described the company’s earnings as “disappointing”.
On a brighter note unit numbers were noticeably higher than a year ago. The Wall Street Journal reports:
For its flagship products, Apple said it sold 51 million iPhones, an all-time quarterly record, versus 47.79 million units in the year ago period. iPad sales rose 14% to 26 million units. Sales of Mac computers climbed 17% to 4.8 million.
Apple result needs to be seen in the context of other device companies – most of which had a rougher than expected end to 2013. Samsung, possibly Apple’s closest rival, also reported lower profitability in the same quarter, while Nokia saw unit numbers fall significantly.
The company’s gross margin was a little lower at 37.9 percent compared with 38.6 a year ago.
Given few other technology companies make it into double digits, it’s a little early to start forecasting the company’s decline. And most of us would be quite comfortable with that level of “disappointing”.