Apple misses iPhone sales targets

But sets records for iPad and Mac sales as it reports revenue of $28.3B

Apple today reported near-record revenues, saying that it had sold 17 million iPhones and 11.1 million iPads in the third quarter.

Revenue for the quarter ending Sept. 30 was $28.3 billion, off the record of $28.6 billion set the previous quarter. Apple said net profit was $6.6 billion. Revenue and profit were up over the same quarter last year by 39% and 54%, respectively.

However, the $28.3 billion in revenues was a record for the third quarter, and the fifth consecutive quarter over the $20 billion mark.

"We are extremely pleased with our record September quarter revenue and earnings and with cash generation of $5.4 billion during the quarter," said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's chief financial officer, in a statement.

The 17 million iPhone sales were significantly off Wall Street estimates, which had pegged the number at around 20 million. Sales of the iPhone 4S, which Apple started selling last week, were not included in the third-quarter figures.

Apple's iPad sales, however, were better than expected: Analysts had forecast sales of 10 million tablets. iPad sales were up 166% over the same quarter in 2010.

Meanwhile, Mac sales grew 37% over last year's third quarter and 30% over the previous quarter to 4.9 million systems, a record for Apple.

CEO Tim Cook, who took control of Apple's reins in August when Steve Jobs stepped aside, was optimistic about the remainder of the year.

"We have strong momentum going into the holiday season and we remain enthusiastic about our product pipeline," Cook said.

Apple will host a conference call with analysts and reporters starting at 5 p.m. ET today to go over its quarterly numbers and answer questions.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is gkeizer@ix.netcom.com.

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