But Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's chief financial officer, defended the company's projected sales for the current quarter, saying projected sales of $41 billion to $43 billion would represent a 5 to 10 percent increase from the year-ago quarter. The quarterly sales target would represent a sequential decline of 21 to 25 percent and be short of consensus analysts' expectations of about $45.6 billion, according to Yahoo Finance.
Oppenheimer said the rollout of the iPhone 5 was Apple's fastest ever, with the company selling the handset in more than 100 countries by the end of December. Oppenheimer said the average selling price of Apple's iPads decreased by about $100 due to the introduction of the iPad mini and the company's decision to continue selling a reduced price iPad 2 line. He also pointed out that the PC market grew 4 percent in the first quarter of 2012 and is expected to decline by about 3 percent in the first quarter of this year.
"Considering these factors, the underlying performance of the business is much stronger than the 5 to 10 percent year-over-year growth implies, and we remain very confident in our business and our new product pipeline," Oppenheimer said.
Apple's quarterly revenue of $54.5 billion was up 41 percent from the previous quarter and up 18 percent from the year-ago quarter. Apple's net profit for the quarter was $13.1 billion, or $13.81 per share, up 60 percent from the previous quarter and roughly flat with the year-ago quarter.
Apple's quarterly sales came up slightly short of consensus analysts' expectations of $54.7 billion, according to Yahoo Finance.
International sales accounted for 61 percent of Apple's revenue in the quarter, the company said.