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Apple reports highest ever earnings - and shares tumble

iPad sales are below market expectations, but CEO Steve Jobs is bullish about the iPad’s dominance of the tablet market.

Steve Jobs believes Apple's iPad has the 'tiger by the tail' in the tablet market.
Steve Jobs believes Apple's iPad has the 'tiger by the tail' in the tablet market.
Image: Paul Sakuma/AP

APPLE HAS REPORTED record quarterly earnings for the months of July to September, with revenue hitting $20.34bn and net quarterly profit of $4.64bn.

Despite the massive earnings, however, the company’s shares on the Nasdaq have fallen by almost 5% in pre-market trading, with the sales of iPads slower than market expectations.

The company sold 14.1 million iPhones in the quarter, a 91% increase on the number from the same quarter in 2009, as well as just over 9 millon iPods and 3.89 Macs.

The sale of iPads only reached 4.19m, however, down on the expectations of market analysts who expected sales to exceed 4.7 million for the same period.

Making an unscheduled appearance onto an Apple conference call, company CEO Steve Jobs defended the iPad’s current and prospective sales, and said the ream of tablet machines lining up to eat into the iPad’s market share were likely to be “dead on arrival”.

The iPad had 35,000 apps available for it, while the new rival range of tablets – including machines from HP, Dell, BlackBerry, and other manufacturers running a customised Windows OS - would have “close to zero” when they launched.

Even Google, he said, was telling developers not to design their tablets for use with the current version of the Android operating system, meaning the iPad would have built up even more of a headstart before such tablets hit the market.

The 7-inch screens being used on the rival tablets would also prove to be simply far too small, he said.

“The more time that passes the more I am convinced that we’ve got a tiger by the tail here,” he concluded.

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Gavan Reilly

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