The Cupertino, Calif.-based electronics giant reported $35.3 billion in revenue, which was up slightly (0.9 percent) year-over-year (from $35 billion). It also reported $6.9 billion in quarterly net profit ($7.47 per share), which was sharply down, 21.6 percent, from $8.8 billion in fiscal Q3 2012.
The result was similar to its Q2 earnings, but worse: in Q2 2013 (calendar year Q1 2013) Apple posted a year-over-year quarterly earnings decline of 19.8 percent.
iDevice sales were slow in this quarter, as was expected due to an impending iPhone update. However, it was the first time there has been a year-over-year decrease in iPad sales seen, at 14.6 million. Still, iPhone sales topped 31 million, which represented 20 percent growth year-over-year.
Mac and iPod sales were down both slightly year-over-year and vs. the prior quarter.
There was a time that any profits were good, but in today's stock market, growth is key. Since its growth has slowed in the fact of giant rivals such as Samsung as well as the fact that -- as consumers move to smartphones -- the smartphone market is becoming saturated.
Samsung, in fact, is now the most profitable smartphone manufacturer in the world, easily Apple with its $8.9 billion in profit vs. Apple's $6.9 billion. Of course, Samsung's results include its latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S4, while the iPhone 5S is yet to be seen.
Apple's revenue growth has been on a consistent downward trend since the great winter of 2011-2012, when Apple’s sales grew 73 percent, then 59 percent. Since then, growth has been been 23 percent, 27 percent, 18 percent, 11 percent, and now less than 1 percent.
For its next quarter, Apple forecast growth ranging from 3 percent to a 5 percent year-over-year decline.
This is where the lower-cost iPhone rumors and even the iPad mini come from. To increase sales, most believe that Apple needs to look downmarket. Apple has stood strong on its stance that it will never release a low-quality, very lost cost device, so in addition to, say, mid-range iPhones, new market segments -- wearable computers such as the iWatch -- are in the cards.