Apple Blames iPhone 5 Rumor Mill For Underwhelming Q3

Apple has announced the financial data for fiscal Q4 2011 that ended on September 24, 2011. Apple had the highest September quarter revenue and earnings in the company's history, but still fell short of expectations. Apple CEO Tim Cook is blaming the underperforming Q4 results that didn't meet analyst predictions on rampant speculation later in the quarter. That speculation drove iPhone 5 rumors to a fevered pitch and resulted in less sales of the iPhone 4 as consumers waited for the next iPhone to debut according to Cook.

While on the one hand Apple is fighting less than expected sales and profits, it still had an excellent quarter with revenue of $28.27 billion and a net profit for the quarter of $6.62 billion working out to $7.05 per diluted share. In the same quarter last year, Apple posted $20.34 billion in revenue and $4.31 billion net quarterly profit.

Apple says that it sold 17.07 million iPhones in the quarter for a 21% unit growth compared to the same quarter in 2010. The number of iPads sold in the quarter was 11.12 million, an increase of 166% year-over-year. The number of Mac computers sold hit 4.89 million, up 26% from the previous year. Apple was also able to move 6.62 million iPods, which is down 27% from the previous year. The iPod was the only segment to shrink for Apple.

Apple CEO Tim Cook blames iPhone 5 rumors for underperforming quarter and slower iPhone 4 sales. "The reduction happened largely in the back half of the quarter as speculation hit extreme highs," Cook says. Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer later reiterated that the "biggest impact was the rumors, which were very pervasive."