Yet make no mistake, the company left behind by Steve Jobs remains in a very healthy condition and is in fact raring to greet the holiday season with a refreshed product lines that would surely provide more reasons for consumers to splurge on gadgets before 2012 ends.
For the September quarter, Apple's revenue surged by 27 per cent in the past 12 months to $US36 billion, netting an income of $US8.2 billion or 24 per cent higher from the company has posted in the same period in 2011.
For Apple CEO Tim Cook and the rest of his court, the overall result was impressive enough as the U.S. tech giant delivered the numbers pleasing to its shareholders and it remains glued, probably for a long time, to its position as the most valuable company in the world.
Analysts, however, noted that while Apple presented profitable sales numbers, which also include the gadgets it had pushed out in the three months leading to the end of September, the Wow-effect seems to be absent.
Apple said it shipped out 14 million iPads in the period and close to 27 million iPhones, which for company chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer were startling numbers on their own rights.
What was reported, Mr Oppenheimer told Reuters on Thursday, "exceeded our expectations."
He admitted, however, that things could have been a lot better but since new Apple products inspire too much excitement and speculations, sales suffered a bit on consumers' belief that upgrades are on the way hence the decision to postpone purchases.
For the holiday quarter, Apple has decided to keep standing on reality, disclosing that it guns for $52 billion in projected revenues, which this time around will be supported by a slew of fresh product upgrades.
The tech giant rolls out for its Q4 onslaught the iPhone 5, the fourth iPad version, its smaller sibling the iPad Mini and new Mac notebooks and desktops.
Observers, however, are puzzled why the modest profit target for the holiday spree when Apple boasts for the period an impressive array of devices that some analysts said could easily attract sales beyond the $100 million mark.
But having too deep a bench for product offerings is exactly the reason Apple is attuned to realistic profit margin goals for the last quarter of 2012, Mr Oppenheimer said, adding that the company's production expenditures also spiked as its lineup became heftier.
"The difference this time is the sheer number of products we're introducing at a short time," The Associated Press (AP) quoted the Apple CFO as saying.
He cited the iPad Mini for instance, which was built with the lowest profit margin for Apple in order to compete with its nearest competitors - Amazon's Kindle Fire HD and Google's Nexus 7.
Still, the smaller iPad was priced higher than its rival because "when we set out to build the iPad Mini, we didn't set out to build a small, cheap tablet, we set out to build a smaller iPad that offered the full iPad experience," Mr Oppenheimer said.
The philosophy behind this tack, according to Mr Cook, is "we're managing the company for the long run."
"We're unwilling to cut corners in delivering the best product experience in the world," he told AP.
And that strategy, he added, would ensure that Apple remains competitive and unfazed by the emergence of new competitions, including Microsoft's Surface tablets.
Mr Cook dismissed the Surface as "a fairly compromised, confusing product," though he admitted not tinkering with the Windows 8-powered tablet yet.
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